Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - History is very important in Mexico. To the Mexican people, "History is not only the story of how the present came to be, but the explanation of present realities and future possibilities."
So it's only natural that every year the month of September is dedicated to the celebration of the first and most significant episode of the country's history - Mexico's Independence from Spain.
Every September, known as El Mes de la Patria (The Month of Our Nation,) cities throughout Mexico host a series of colorful and patriotic festivities celebrating the events and people that eventually resulted in Mexico's Independence.
Here in Puerto Vallarta, the celebrations are unbeatable. On every street corner there are vendors selling flags, balloons, sombreros and rehiletes, all in the national colors of red, white and green - and, as is tradition, the city celebrates the occasion with lots of festivities, entertainment and sporting events from September 13th through the 16th.
All events are free and open to the public.
Thursday, September 13th
The celebrations start at 9:00 am with a civic ceremony to honor Los Niños Héroes (the Boy Heroes who defended Chapultepec Castle from invading U.S. forces in the 13 September 1847 Battle of Chapultepec, during the Mexican–American War) complete with a roll call, wreath and honor guard, in the main square of El Pitillal.
That same evening the traditional Baile de Rebozo, one of the most popular events among Vallarta high society, will be held at 7:00 pm on the Juarez parking lot terrace, downtown. "Rebozos," or Shawls in all colors and textures imaginable, traditional Mexican garments for men and women, are commonly worn to this dinner-dance full of surprises.
Friday, September 14th
El Día Nacional del Charro (National Charro Day) is celebrated every year on the 14th. At 11:00 am, more than 100 members of La Unión de Asociaciones de Charros de Puerto Vallarta (the Union of Puerto Vallarta Charros Associations) will parade through town with great clamor. The parade starts at Lázaro Cárdenas Park in Colonia Emiliano Zapata, and heads up Calle Morelos to the Malecón, downtown.
Saturday, September 15th
This day marks El Aniversario del Grito de Independencia with activities all day and night.
At 8:00 am, with a civic and flag raising ceremony to commemorate the 1810 "Cry of Dolores," and the first time Mexico's National Anthem was sung in public will be celebrated in the Plaza de Armas (the main square in downtown Puerto Vallarta.)
At 9:00 am, the 2018 Volleyball Tournament, with guest teams from the states of Nayarit and Sinaloa, will begin at the volleyball court in Ixtapa; and the 2018 Basketball Tournament will get underway at the Augstin Flores Contreras Municipal Sports Stadium.
As the clock begins to strike eleven, Interim Mayor Rodolfo Domínguez Monroy, will step out onto the balcony of La Presidencia (the municipal government building) to ring the symbolic liberty bell and give El Grito de Dolores, which is met by the people's response of "Viva Mexico!" and "Viva la Independencia!" in an emotion-packed traditional annual ritual.
The traditional Ceremonia del Grito de Independencia reaches the high point when the crowd joins in proudly shouting out the names of the heroes of Mexico's Independence. When the grito ceremony ends, the sky lights up with multi-colored fireworks that shower our hearts with the pride of knowing that we are a free and independent nation. The day's celebrations end with musical performances by Nuevo Continental Mariachi at 11:30 pm and Ritmos Dinámicos at 12:30 am.
Sunday, September 16th - Aniversario del Inicio de la Guerra de Independencia
This day marks the 208th Anniversary of Mexico's War of Independence
At 8:00 am, an Independence Day Flag and Civic Ceremonies will take place at Parque Hidalgo in downtown Puerto Vallarta
At 9:00 am, the 2018 Reto San Pedro mountain biking competition will take off from Los Almacenes and head towards San Pedro.
Also at 9:00 am, the 2018 Volleyball Tournament, with guest teams from the states of Nayarit and Sinaloa, will continue at the volleyball court in Ixtapa; and the 2018 Basketball Tournament finals get underway at the Augstin Flores Contras Municipal Sports Stadium.
At 10:00 am, the traditional Independence Day Parade will march along Calle Morelos in downtown Puerto Vallarta. The end of the parade brings the official observance of the holiday to a close, but plenty of restaurants will be open and there are lots of lively parties in the downtown area.
September's Fiestas Patrias celebrations stand out among the social activities celebrated in Mexico each year - so don't miss your chance to immerse yourself in Mexico's rich cultural heritage during Puerto Vallarta's 2018 El Mes de la Patria celebrations.¡Ven a Vallarta y Vive la Cultura! ¡Viva México!