In Mendoza the Fiesta Nacional de la Vendimia (The Grape Harvest Festival) is one of the most important international wine festivals. The first vendimia celebration Mendoza occurred in the 17th Century, the first official Vendimia festival took place in 1936.
DELIA LARRIVE ESCUDERO - Godoy Cruz First Vendimia Queen 1936
see all queens at http://www.intertournet.com.ar/vendimia/reinas.htm
It is one of the most important festivals in the country attracting large numbers of tourists to the region. Each of the 18 departments in Mendoza Province prepare for the festival in the early months of the year.
Below are the main events for the annual Vendimia Festival
Benediction of the fruit
The Benediction of the fruit takes place on the last Sunday of February.
VÃa Blanca de las Reinas
On the evening of the first Friday of March the prettiest women (Reinas) from each department parade through the streets of Mendoza dressed in decorative outfits designed to celebrate the winemaking tradition and the character of their Departments. This event has been known to attract over 200,000 spectators.
The Carrusel Vendimial takes place on the Saturday morning, it takes the form of a daylight parade, where the Reinas ride horses through the streets dressed in Gaucho style outfits, they are followed by dancers representing various provinces of Argentina and other Latin American Countries. This parade also attracts huge numbers of spectators.
The "Acto Central" takes place in the Frank Romero Day Amphitheatre. It is an impressive spectacle of light and sound featuring over 100 performers and dancers. The show pays homenage to the "Virgen de la Carrodilla" and features traditional folklore music.
The final of the show sees the election of the "Reina Nacional de la Vendimia" and a large firework display.