Not all cowboys are the same.
A charro is someone who specifically practices the centuries-old sports art of la charrería, while a vaquero is what we’d use to describe a “cowboy.”
Though the official Día del Charro is September 14, in Ajijic it’s usually observed on a nearby weekend around the September 16 Independence Day holiday.
2019 Event Information
The president of Ajijic’s charros association has informed me that this year there won’t be a parade for the Day of the Charro in Ajijic since the Regata de Globos falls on the same day and Independence Day celebrations take place on September 15 and 16. There will be a Día del Charro mass at Church San Andrés at 12 p.m. on Sunday, but this year there will not be any horses waiting outside the church during the mass, which is what usually happens.
You can still probably catch Chapala’s celebrations around mid-morning to noon on September 14 on Francisco Madero Avenue. And on September 16, you can see all the charros during the Independence Day parade in Ajijic at 10 a.m.
Normally in Ajijic, el Día del Charro begins around 11:30 a.m. as the cowboys and escaramuzas arrive at San Andrés Church. This is the one time of the year that horses are allowed on this outdoor atrium. A special mass begins at 12 p.m. and lasts an hour while the majority of the cowboys and cowgirls remain outside on their horses. The parade starts at 1 p.m. and ends about an hour later.
In 2019, there will not be a parade. Normally, though, the parade starts in the courtyard outside San Andrés Church and proceeds west on Hidalgo until it reaches Seís Esquinas (Six Corners) and then heads back east on Ocampo. In 2018, the parade ended at the malecón instead of the lienzo charro ring.
After the parade, there might be balet folklórico dancers and mariachi or other activities before the charros invite everyone to eat lunch.
Then there are free events in the bullring later in the afternoon: usually a charrería exhibition and cowboy games, such as throwing darts at targets while galloping on horseback.
Last updated September 22, 2019