A week ago, I was in one of Oaxaca’s fantastic mercados and my attention was drawn to this poster. I had heard if this only-in-Oaxaca festival and this winter I count myself fortunate that I am present for this years’s event.
And what a spectacle it is! Located all around the zocolo or Plaza Principale as they call it in San Miquel de Allende this is a well organized and yes, heavily policed event. Riot barriers were erected outside a raised walkway where you could view the amazing carvings from an optimum viewing level.
I arrived in the zocolo just as they were setting up and putting up the name signs and I was very glad I did. Within an hour the crowds that could initially move fairly freely to see the exhibits grew to full throng size. By the time I left about 5 o’clock it was a flowing sea of humanity and some it was quequed up to enter the raised walkway.
Because I had arrived early I was not compelled to join the one and two hour wait line.
So what was my impression as a first time visitor?
One word? Incredible1 Apparently, special radishes are grown just for this event. They are huge and carvable. The elaborate carvings even though they are covered need to be spritzed with water during the event so they will make it to the evening. I took my intermediate English class to this amazing event and some of them had never witnessed this festival.
I only stayed until dusk. The crowds were getting bigger by the minute and the line up was forming to view the carvings from the raised walkways around the zocolo.
I missed the fireworks to come later but I did see ALL the radish carvings and corn husk creations!