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Some of the main events of the year
Most of Panama’s country fairs take place in the dry season (Dec. to March) Like country fairs everywhere they include livestock and agricultural exhibits, rides for children, typical food and typical dancing, but each one has its own flavor. The following is a list of these country fairs with their approximate dates.
Jan 15-18: Agricultural Fair of Tanara, Chepo, Panama province
Jan 21 – Feb 1: Chorrera International Fair, Panama province
Jan 29 – Feb 1: Santa Fé Fair, Veraguas province
Jan 25-26: Festival of the Sea in Taboga.
Feb 13-22: Veraguas Fair in Sona, Veraguas province
Feb 28 – March 2: Darién Fair in Santa Fé, Darien province
March 12-22: David International Fair, Chiriqui province
March 13-18: San José de Tolé Fair, Chiriquí province
April 9-19: Colón Fair, Colón province
April 2 -12: Azuero International Fair, Azuero province
Sept 12- 14: International Fair of the Sea, Bocas del Toro province
Festivals, for a patron saint or with a religious theme offer parades and floats and many of the elements of the country fairs.
January 30 – Feb 9: Feria de la Candelaria, Chiriquí, is celebrated in many areas of Chiriqui, the most famous being in Bugaba where hundreds of horsemen converge from the countryside and cavalcade through the town.
March 14: Pollera Congo Festival in Portobelo.
June 4-7: Festival de Corpus Christi, celebrated 40 days after Easter and best seen in Villa de Los Santos with its famous dances of the Diablicos Sucios (Dirty Devils).
July 22: National Pollera Day.
July 19: Fiesta de Santa Librada, the patron saint of Los Santos. The celebration begins in Las Tablas with a lavishly decorated float bearing the likeness of the saint through the town, followed by two days of dancing and folklore incorporating the Festival de la Pollera (National Dress). Competition for the best pollera is fierce.
Aug 13 – 16: Festival Nacional del Manito In Ocu is a traditional celebration of country life with typical music and dances, including a genuine traditional country wedding, and a “junta de embarre” where neighbors get together to build a mud and straw house and “corridas de toros” in which the bull is teased but not killed.
Sept. 25-27: Festival Nacional de la Mejorana in Guarare, Los Santos is a celebration of the spirit of all the traditions of Panama. It coincides with the patron saint festivities of “Virgen de Las Mercedes”. The Parade of the Carriages is spectacular.
Oct 17-23: Festival del Torito Guapo, Anton Cocle is a Spanish colonial tradition featuring men of the town, dressed in bull costume, who chase passers-by down the streets. The five day typical country celebration offers “tipico” dance groups, music contests, bullfights and even “mojaderas”, where revelers cool off by dancing under a stream of water. The festival also celebrates agricultural activities like coconut peeling, cow milking, and carrying “leña” (firewood).
October 21: Black Christ Festival Portobelo. Thousands of pilgrims dressed in purple robes converge on Portobelo to give thanks to the Black Christ for favors granted or to ask for future miracles. The statue of Christ is borne round the town in carnival atmosphere, three steps forward, one step back.
Jan 8-18: Boquete Flower & Coffee Fair, Chiriquí province. Takes place on the banks of the Caldera River. The gounds are laid out in a colorful display of flowers which grow in the cool Highlands of Chiriqui and are therefore a rarity in the rest of Panama.
March 26 – April 5: Boquete Orchid Fair, Chiriqui province. Panama is famous for its orchid species.
September.: Flower of the Holy Spirit Fair, Las Minas, Herrera province. The Flower of the Holy Spirit (Flor Del Espiritu Santo) orchid is so called because of the figure of a dove discernable in the center of the flower. It is the national flower of Panama.
January 12-17: Jazz Festival is an annual event with Jazz concerts held all over Panama City, especially in the Casco Viejo area. It attracts many stars from the world of Jazz.
Feb. 14-17: Carnival is the pre-Lenten celebration which takes place each year 40 days before Easter. It is held all over the country but the most famous one is in Las Tablas where the rivalry between the Carnival queens of Calle Arriba and Calle Abajo is historic.
Feb. 14-17: Afro-Antillana Festival is held each year in Panama City as a celebration of the African and West Indian influence on Panama’s culture and their contribution to the Canal.
Feb. 14-17: Jazz & Blues Festival in Boquete.
March 27-29: Cayuco Race. Canoes race from Atlantic to Pacific Ocean through the Panama Canal
April 9-15: Panama International Film Festival
May 29-31: Panama Intl. Boat Show at the Flamenco Marina, Amador Causeway.
May: President of the Republic Classic. One of the biggest racing events of the year at the President Remon Racetrack
May: Alfredo de San Malo Music Festival brings together musicians from all over the world.
July: Fashion Week Panama
Dec: Christmas Parade. Colorful floats celebrate the festive season.
March 11-14: Expocomer. A yearly business exposition which draws commerce from all over the world
May 19-22: Expo Vivienda brings together building projects, buyers and financiers each year.
May: Handicraft Fair.
September: CAPAC: Construction and housing fair.
September: Tourism Expo
October: Expo Logistica is an exposition growing in importance
October: Motor Show
Marathons: Check events on www.thevisitorpanama.com
Fishing: Call Abernathy 260-1222 for information.