Since 1698, when San Roque fraternity was created to thank the Montpelier saint for his mediation in favour of the inhabitants of Vilagarcía in their fight against the plague, more than 300 years have already passed. Time more than enough so that the descendants of the first responsible for the patron saint’s festivals were able to improve them so as to be considered of national tourist interest in 2006
It is a fact that today there are very few people who have not heard from the so famous Water Festival which is held on 16th August for the soaking joy of 50,000 people who come from the most diverse places. Its announcer, the fire engines, and the most sui generis gadgets aiming to soak everybody, the water festival starts when the saint is kept in the chapel of the same name, at around 12:00 in the afternoon, and finishes not before 4:00 in the afternoon, plenty of time to make everything and everybody become soggy.
However, San Roque is more than a water festival per excellence. It starts with the saint’s transfer from the parochial church to the chapel. A teeming procession, something between civic and religious, that the patron celebrates by “dancing” at the rhythm of the pasodoble “Triumph”
For ten days, there are uninterrupted number of activities: free concerts of soloists and national and Galician bands which usually take place in the A Xunqueira park, where there is also an craftmanship fair. An international festival of clowns, Festiclown, which draws thousands of people into the streets with the clowns’ acrobatics and comedy stand-ups, puppets and magic. Open air dances, carousels, pasacalles or brass bands playing along the streets….. And a whole week of cinema.
San Roque contains everything, and if it were not enough, it is preceded by the Revenidas Festival, a food festival based on roasted sardines and complimented with fun-filled activities and concerts by Galician, national and international bands.
Here comes the time for the Combate Naval, a pyrotechnic festival that recreates, in the beach, the assault to the port of Callao, in Peru, in 1866.
The patron saint’s festival sounds the alarm the Saturday next to San Roque. It is the time of the Combate Naval, a pyrothecnic display on the beach that symbolizes the assault to the Port of Callao in Perú, in 1866. Acquatic fireworks, boats that attack, a clastle that defends itself, this is a half-and-hour show which gathers together more than 30,000 people on the A Concha and A Compostela beaches.
On the same weekend, Carril holds the well-known Clam Festival. It has its own announcement, a parade of food associations and fun-filled activities, however, the most important part of the festival is people’s tasting of thousands of portions of clams a la marinera accompanied with the Albaniño wine produced in a local winery.
The following Saturday, to end up the festivities, the Noite das Meigas is carried out: a dozen settlements of “meigos” or witches, inhabited by the same number of associations, spread out over the city centre in order to offer their visitors ring-shaped pastries, chorizos and some other foodstuffs, and specially the purifying queimada or homemade spirits, which comes with its corresponding conjuration in order to celebrate the already lived life and that which is still to be lived.