lifestyle, travel This is Cozumel

Cozumel island is gearing up again for the historical El Cedral Festival.

The annual celebration of fairs, feasts, rodeos, bullfights, music and more, will be held from April 29 to May 3, 2010.

Officially called the Festival of El Cedral and the Fiestas of Santa Cruz, the event is held every year in the small town of El Cedral, in the south of Cozumel.

The historic celebrations are over 150 years old and are thought to have been started by Casimiro Cárdenas, one of a group that fled to the island during the War of the Castes.

Feria de El Cedral
Colorful traditional displays.

Cárdenas is said to have arrived from the village of Saban, on the mainland, after escaping an attack on his village that killed many others.

The event takes its name, in part, from the small wooden cross that legend says Cárdenas was clutching when he fled.

Today, revellers enjoy traditional Yucatecan and Mexican parties with amazing feasts, rodeos, bullfights, music, dancing, competitions and, of course, plenty of ice cold Mexican beer.

This year's program kicks off on Thursday, April 29, with, among other things, the coronation of the Festival Queen, art shows, horse races and a concert by top Baja California band, Reik.

Friday, April 30, will see children's bull running, a cycle race, more horse racing, music, dances and more.

Cozumel bullfighting
Bullfights and beer.

Locals will excitedly pack the small town on Saturday, May 1, for the ever popular traditional Mexican wrestling - lucha libre - with top fighters including Máximo, Taichí "The Japanese", Atlantis, Rey Tigre and others.

On the same big Saturday, running and cycling races will be held, as well as the semi-final of the horse racing, rodeos, tropical dancing and special children's events.

Horoscopos Cozumel
Los Horoscopos de Durango.

Sunday, May 2 and Monday, May 3, will witness amazing top level bullfights, the horse racing final, cultural art performances, more music, dancing and the "Mr Cedral" competition.

The festival will finally be brought to a spectacular close on Monday night, with what is sure to be a lively musical performance by international award winning Mexican group Los Horósco­pos de Durango, complete with big drums, tuba and saxophones.

Local and tourists alike are welcome and entrance to many events is free. See our Cozumel Event Calendar for more information.