Güímar lived yesterday in all its splendor, after two years of absence due to the pandemic, the San Antonio Abad festival, bringing out all its potential in the primary sector, first with the traditional Sunday market in the Huerta del Valle and then with a demonstration of animals, as a preamble to the small pilgrimage in the center of the municipality, without forgetting also, a sample of crafts.
The party began early in the morning, with the opening of the Farmer’s Market and Crafts Fair in the San Pedro tent. In Teobaldo Power square and street, the public was able to enjoy an exhibition of animals, including traditional birds of prey and this year a demonstration of camels from Majora, all enlivened by the parade of the 101 Brass Band and children’s activities in the Atrium of Saint Peter.
At one in the afternoon, the Eucharist was held in the parish of Santo Domingo de Guzmán, with music by the group Amigos del Arte, followed by the blessing of the animals and a procession with the Dance of Ribbons of San Pedro de Arriba, Music Band of the AC Patronato Amigos del Arte and folkloric groups from the municipality of Güímar. The great party ended with a great pilgrimage dance with Quimbao La Nuit, Polo ‘El Canario’, Falo Rodríguez and José Gómez Pánfilo.
Octavio Rodríguez, official chronicler of Güímar, tells that the celebration of San Antonio Abad in the municipality was promoted by Óscar Pérez Rosa, then president of the Güímar Farmers and Ranchers Union Brotherhood, after instituting San Antonio Abad as patron of said Brotherhood.
It began to be celebrated on January 27, 1952, continuing without interruption until the end of the sixties. Then it disappeared for a long period of time until, with the advent of democracy, it was reorganized between 1980 and 1984, led by party councilor Leopoldo Mansito Pérez, author of the reinstatement proposal. Then there was another interruption in the popular acts, due to the decline of the primary sector in the municipality, although the religious festival continued to be celebrated in the church of Santo Domingo thanks to its butler Miguel Benítez Pérez. The festival-pilgrimage was recovered in 1997 at the initiative of the Councilor for Culture, Félix José Castro.
Since then, on the last weekend of January (with few exceptions, in which it was delayed) this popular festival-pilgrimage in Güímar has not ceased to be held, with great reception by the public.
The image of San Antonio Abad that exists in Güímar, was elaborated in the 18th century by the image maker José Rodríguez de la Oliva and is a valuable sample of the Canarian Baroque.