Of all the towns located in Riviera Nayarit, just north of Puerto Vallarta, San Pancho has endeavor the most to become the cultural destination in the coastal region of Nayarit, our neighboring state. Despite its small size when compared to other destinations comfortably reachable from Puerto Vallarta (see map, below), San Pancho features spaces specifically created to learn and/or enjoy dance, visual arts, theater, music and even circus, offering diverse festivals through the year that celebrate those artistic disciplines. In addition, the town’s strong advocacy for recycling and repurposing has attracted individuals and organizations from all over the globe to participate in volunteering and implementation programs at Entre Amigos, it’s renowned cultural center.
Two events coming up in the next few weeks make the one-hour drive from Puerto Vallarta to San Pancho a more than worthy consideration, with the option of returning the same day or spending the night:
20th San Pancho Music Fest
The annual San Pancho Music Fest, taking place over thee days on the weekend of Friday, February 28, brings together an eclectic lineup of 27 bands performing on two different stages: Puerco’s Garden, the original backyard where a small grassroots gathering of musicians took place in 20 years ago at John (Puerco) and Trish Alexander’s home; and the main stage at Plaza del Sol, the town’s main plaza, also known as the Dave Fisher stage in memory of Dave Fisher, one of the original musicians. Plaza del Sol will also feature food vendors on site, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage options as well as many arts and crafts vendors. A limited number of plastic chairs available. Bringing your own folding chair is highly recommended!
8th Benefit Show for Circo de los Niños de San Pancho
After Cirque du Soleil co-creator Gilles St-Croix retired, he and his wife, Monique Voyer, decided to share their knowledge and expertise with the community of San Pancho, particularly its children, by founding a circus school. Since its inception, the school produces an annual theatrical show with colorful costumes, set, lights and projections, music and choreography to showcase the extraordinary talents of its students, with the loving help of Cirque alumni who come down to help produce what has become an event so magical that tickets usually go on sale in a matter of days after they become available!
This year’s benefit show, Sancho, will be presented on March 18 through 21, and will feature 58 children of the San Pancho community. The character Sancho Panza, the squire of Don Quixote of Cervantes, is at the center of this year’s production… What happened to Sancho when his Don Quixote died? The author didn’t tell. So we can imagine that Sancho Panza continued the adventures and the quest for justice that he learned from his mentor.
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