Fun at the Fair

Deer dancer provide a cultural experience. (photo: Harris & Goller -

Deer dancer provide a cultural experience. (photo: Harris & Goller -

Panajachel to host patron saint festivities in October

St. Francis of Assisi was, among other things, the patron of animals and the environment. So it is fitting that fair week in the city named for him, San Francisco Panajachel, will include a ceremony to bless the animals. The environment will also be a theme, with many organizations involved in the reclamation of Lake Atitlan maintaining booths to disseminate literature about their activities and to recruit volunteers.

Although chingolingo (carnival games) and confectionary booths have been going up since Sept. 17 (the date St. Francis attained the stigmata), the fair is only fully under way beginning Oct. 1. The saint’s own day, Oct. 4, is the height of the festivities; the final full day is Oct. 7. Plenty of lodging choices are available; the same is true for shopping and dining, a special plus given that Panajachel has at least one of every kind of restaurant.

There will also be an abundance of feria traditions, including the art and beauty contests sponsored by Dr. Gerardo Barrero. Ferris wheels and other rides, games of chance and skill, tipico sweets and cuisine, and open-air entertainment (including deer dancers) are all on the program.

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