The year has 50 weeks and Vilagarcía organizes 43 events. This means almost one a week. There are all kinds of events: festive, cinematographic, artistic, gastronomic, folk, sports. Some of them are international, and others are traditions that have been carried out for decades. Therefore, no matter when you visit Vilagarcía, you are likely to coincide with some of these events, which will not disappoint you. The thing is that we are open all year round. And, of course, we are looking forward to you becoming one of us.
This is an international soccer tournament organized by the Arousa SC which usually takes place the second fortnight of June. The best young players from Spain and from other countries gather for three days to spend time together and enjoy their favourite sport, football, but also to compete for a trophy which is gaining more and more popularity and prestige.
This International Festival of Clasical Music not only brings together a great group of international artists but they also become masters for some carefully selected pupils coming from different countries. The concerts take place the last week of June and the first week of July in the Auditorium, the Salón García and some other significant locations such as the pazos of A Golpelleira and Rubiáns and the historic monumental buildings of Vistalegre.
As many other places, Vilagarcía also celebrates the arrival of the summer solstice and, consequently, the shortest night. For that reason, there are bonfires in different parts of the council, some organized by private individuals, some others for cultural or neighboring associations. But none of them is like the bonfire on the A Concha beach, organized by the Zona Aberta Trader’s Associtaion with the help of the council itself. Roasted sardines, music and good mood contribute to welcoming summer.
Vilaxoan celebrates Our Lady of Carmen Festival on the Saturday and Sunday after 16th of July. When the weather permits it, the sea procession is one of the most attractive acts. Regarding other more festive events, worthy of mention is the “Vilaxoan canta”, – Vilaxoan sings- a show in which the neighbours display their singing abilites, singing in a multitudinous choir in the main square of the village. The port of Carril also participates in the celebration of the sailor’s patron saint with its own procession, apart from pasacalles – brass bands playing while walking along the street- and fun-filled activities for the little ones.
The second weekend of July, the Centro Gallego de Vela – Galician sailing centre – with headquarters in Vilagarcía, hosts this event, considered the festival of dhingy sailing in Galicia. All the classes of this discipline take part in it: Optimist Windsurf, 47 Laser, Radial laser, 4.20 and Standard laser. Other classes such as Finn, Vurien, Snipe or Radiocrontrol may also participate depending on the year.
This International Festival of Music transforms Vilagarcía into the Galician capital of blues in July. Concerts, which are all free and bring together a big number of internationally awarded musicians, are complemented with some other activities such as jam sessions, master classes and even a romería – an informal and traditional gathering organized in a park or green area. Thus, Vilablus becomes a extraordinary experience for the enthusiasts of this musical genre.
This competition organized by the Club de Natación y Salvamento Vilagarcía – Vilagarcían swimming and lifesaving club – takes place in July and is included in the Galician Open Water Circuit. Participants can opt for 2,500, 1,200 and even 250 metres, according to their age.
According to the tradition, the body of the Apostle Saint James was transported by boat from Jaffa (Palestina) up to Iria Flavia, near Padrón, from which it was transferred to Compostela. The Xacobean sea-river journey recalls that legend. The journey up to the river is carried out every year, normally in July, and is organized by the Jacobean Foundation, comprised by 18 coastal and riverside councils, which provides the visitors with some boats in order to take part in the route, free of charges but available prior registration.
Every Thursday and Friday evening, the teeming Méndez Núñez street becomes the setting of a series of small-scale concerts in which soloists, duos or small bands, perform different kinds of music (pop, rock, folk, blues…). It is a series of concerts organized by bar owners in order to enliven the street while people are having a wine or a tapa. For this reason, there are two performances coinciding with the wine’s peak times, one at 21:30/22:00 and another at 23:00/23:00, and depending on the day, either Thursday or Friday.
If Saint John’s festival welcomes summer, these Chill-Out sessions organized by the Hospitality Association help people get ready for August, the month in which the agenda of festivals demands to be in good shape. For that, there is nothing better than using the hammocks and mats spread out in an enclosed area of the A Concha beach, while having a mojito or a beer, listening to relaxing music and enjoying the spectacular sun when it starts to set, further away, behing the Barbanza mountain range.
The patron Saint of Vilagarcían main festival, which has been declared of national tourist interest, is celebrated for 10 days around the 16th of August, San Roque’s day. Free concerts by national soloists and bands held in A Xunqueira park, verbenas – open air dances- carousel fair, pasacalles – brass bands playing while walking along the streets – battle of flowers, uninterrupted bustling streets, folk gatherings… are just some of the ingredients of a program in which the gastronomic festivals of Carril and Vilaxoán, the internacional clown festival, the pyrothecnic display and of course the not to be missed Waster Festival.
The Water Festival is the main act of San Roque’s Festival. It starts when the saint is carried to the chapel of the same name after a mass procession halfway between civic and religious in which the patron saint “dances” to the rhythm of the “Triunfo” pasodoble. Thousands of kids, youngsters and those young of heart, run through the streets to the shouts of “water” or “aqui no llega” with the idea that they need water and it has not quite arrive yet, as they invite their neighbours, on the balconies to quench their thrist with some water. In turn, they are answered with buckets, hoses and bottles … or whatever people can get their hands on. If this does not suffice, the Vilagarcian firemen and civil protection squads use their fire trucks and hoses to soak the revellers until the afternoon. The water festival, with more than 50,000 participants, has not only received national but also international recognition as it figures in various websites that recommend the best festivals in Spain. So much so that UNESCO in its International Day of Water has recognized this Vilagarcían festival tradition.
Festiclown is, according to its creators, an artifact of rebellious joy which converts laughter into the driving force that moves the world, being the clown a mass fun weapon. Present in several countries, its only headquarters is in Galicia, more precisely in Vilagarcía. Magicians, comedians, acrobats and clowns, fill the streets with art and happiness with the conspirational help of thousands of people during five days, always prior to 16th August. Festiclown is also committed to social purposes, for this reason they also display their magic in disabled associations or in the local hospital.
Organized by the Ádega Film Club, one of the oldest in Galicia, The Cinema Week takes place the first days of August, just after the Varietés Festival and just before the beginning of the actual activities belonging to San Roque festival. New films and short films are presented, sometimes, by their own directors who give a talk open to the public participation. At the same time, some open-air screenings and live concerts related to the film world also take place.
The Combate Naval – acquatic fireworks display – is a pyrothecnic festival that has existed for more than 150 years. It is the announcement that the patron saint festival has come to an end. It takes place the Saturday after the day of San Roque (16th August) on the A Concha and A Compostela beaches which become improvised terraces to see the display. It recalls the assault to the Peruvian port of El Callao in 1866. Acquatic fireworks, boats that attack, a clastle that defends itself, this half-and-hour show gathers together more than 30,000 people.
Carril’s most identifiable bivalbe is the protagonist of this gastronomic festival, which takes place the second fortnight of August. It is organized by the Cofradía de Pescadores- the fishermen association- and the Agrupación de Parquistas, made up of those who exploit the farms. This festival, declared of Galician tourist interest in 2014, has its own public announcement, gastronomy association’s parade, and fun-filled activities amongst which a popular cooking competition of clam recipes stands out. The clams for the competition are provided by the organization. However, the tasting of thousands of portions of clams a la marinera accompanied by a locally produced Albariño wine constitutes the main activity of this festival.
Vilaxoán has a great sailing and seaside tradition. Which brings us to this festival, where the “revenidas”- recently fished sardines- which have been left in saltted water for several hours, are roasted and then normally eaten with corn bread and Albariño. All this takes place in the Doña Concha park, in the shade and in front of the sea. The fiesta is completed with a music festival which makes a clear commitment to Galician bands accompanied by some other national and international bands. A camping area next to the O Preguntoiro beach, a solidarity circus festival, cooking shows, and an craftmanship fair constitute, alongside food tasting, the remarkable list of activities aimed at all kinds of people.
Estos dos eventos organizados por el Real Club de Regatas Galicia atraen a más de una treintena de embarcaciones de la clase snipe. Ambas competiciones se celebran paralelamente en aguas vilagarcianas, durante el fin de semana siguiente al 16 de agosto, coincidiendo por tanto con las fiestas patronales.
This festival is a farewell to the summer. When night falls on the last weekend of August, the main streets of the town come to life with lots of people following the music and theatres that take place in the streets, after which people try to find a place where they can have queimada – homemade spirit- for free, to help comfort their spirits.
Organized by Pésdebarro cultural association, alongside the Culture Councillorship, Folk no Alobre recovers the old tradition of Galician romerías – informal and traditional gatherings organized in parks or green areas. For that, a priviledged location has been chosen: the Enrique Valdés Bermejo Botanic Park at the foot of the Castro of Alobre. A picnic open to everybody as long as they contribute something to eat, livened up with traditional games, a workshop of traditional musical instruments and world dances and of course, folk music concerts in a pleasant atmosphere.
The Ameixa Rock is a festival which was born in Carril in 2013 aiming to encourage culture, Galician language and maritime life by means of rock music and other activities (day and night visits to Cortegada, circus atractions, storytellers, seafarer “Olimpic games”…) which make this event open to all kinds of public. Everybody can participate, from those who want to see and listen to emerging music bands to those who prefer enjoying the sea of Arousa and Cortegada highlighting, in this way, the importance of culture and nature, as well as Carril’s seafarer traditions. Furthermore, all activities are free.
The Tapas Fair, organized by the Hopitality Association, is an unmissable appointment for those who want to enjoy the most creative cuisine in town. In September, the Miguel Hernández park hosts this event in which, for a fixed price, the visitor can taste a very appealing variety of tapas alongside musical performances, cooking shows and children’s activities.
International basketball tournament which brings to Vilagarcía some of the best ACB teams for two days of September. Additionally to the tournament, the Pick&Rock offers activities and competitions for kids and gown-ups, Djs and live music.
In September there is an international chess tournament carried out in honour of Adolfo Pedrido, a chess figure in the town and a promotor of grassroot sport for decades.