Mendoza, Capital Department, Mendoza Province, Argentina
Photo courtesy of Wines of Argentina
La Fiesta Nacional de la VendimiaMost locals will tell you that the best time to visit Mendoza is during La Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia, Argentina’s biggest harvest festival, which takes place the first week of March. The festival is a week-long party packed with folkloric music and dancing, parades, and bacchanal wine consumption.
The benediction of the fruit takes place the last weekend in February, and the first parade, Via Blanca de Las Reinas, is held on the first Friday evening in March, when allegoric chariots parade young women chosen as “queens” by their community to represent each of the 18 departments through the streets of Mendoza.
On Saturday morning the queens participate in the Carrusel parade, where their floats are surrounded by men in traditional Argentine Cowboy or gaucho-style dress riding horses and followed by folkloric dancers.
The Central Act takes place in Gen. San Martin Park’s Frank Romero Day Amphitheater with colorful performance from over 1,000 folkloric dancers. The evening concludes with the election of the Queen of the Vendimia and a fireworks display.