This Thursday the three days of the board drag festival end. Saint Andrewin Icod de los Vinos. Some 30,000 people will pass through the urban area (around 10,000 each day) and some 2,000 – children, adolescents, young people and adults – will crawl through Hércules, Los Franceses (San Antonio) and El Plano streets. Safety is guaranteed by a plan with more than fifty troops and 20 tons of tires (5,000 units concentrated in El Plano) scattered along the slopes of the municipality to prevent participants from suffering damage.
The fact that the festival is held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday does not reduce the influx, a fact highlighted by the mayor, Javier Sierra, «because the streets are full of people from early in the morning and the accommodation floor is almost 100% full. “For a midweek celebration, it is being a complete success.”
The stories are almost common among those who get on the board to go down the street to the tire border. Logical if you take into account that “it is a tradition that takes place throughout Icod de los Vinos wherever there is a slope.” Rafael and Sofía are barely 16 years old, “but I have lived it since I can remember,” she says, while he is more forceful: “It’s a shot of adrenaline.”
“My father did it, my mother did it and now my brother and I.” Miguel and Laura are taller (they are over 22 years old) and “this is the fifth time we have come to the stage. This experience has something special,” according to this resident of Radazul (El Rosario). «There is no risk if you know what to do, which is very simple. I invite you to try. “There is still tomorrow (for today).” They can be thrown around all day.
With the institutional ceremony of uncorking the first bottle of the 2023 harvest, held in the Plaza de Lorenzo Cáceres the day before yesterday, three days of festivities linked to wine, chestnuts and the dragging of the boards began. This year, in addition, with the memory of the figure of Fernando GonzalezSeneca, from the Cueva del Rey winery, who died recently.
El Plano, Hércules and San Antonio streets are closed to traffic from five in the afternoon on Tuesday until the next morning (2:30 a.m.). A circuit in which the party is a revitalizing element of commercial activity and the local economy. Yesterday, for example, from midday the bustle and revelry spread through the streets of the town of Icodense.
On this third and last day of the San Andrés tables, the programming consists of the drag being held throughout the day and in the Great Wine Festival, from 7:30 p.m. in the Plaza Andrés de Lorenzo Cáceres, with the presence of more than a dozen wineries and restaurants, as well as the regulatory councils of the Denomination of Origin of Tenerife. The influx is assured and will once again exceed expectations, like the previous two days. Today, the sale of glasses has a solidarity nature. The City Council will allocate the proceeds to the Apreme Association.
Javier Sierra calls on citizens to attend this celebration, “to have fun and enjoy the good atmosphere.” The spectacular thing about the San Andrés tables is that they are liked by adults, children and those who visit us.». It is one of its most deep-rooted and peculiar traditions. It takes teenagers, young people and adults to get on a small board to descend at full speed down some of the steepest streets on the occasion of Saint Andrew’s Eve and Day. It is the time of year when the opening of the wineries is joined by the dragging of the boards.
In the sixteenth century
This year, knowledge of the history of this custom is promoted, “of which the specific date of its origin is not known, but it is around the 16th century,” says the mayor. It was born from the need to transport wood from the upper area to the town and the old Port of San Marcos. This tradition of the city of Drago has been expanding to the neighboring municipalities, the cases of Garachico, La Guancha or San Juan de la Rambla.
Several publications and research works attest that the tradition arose when the place exported wood. Then, the pack animals transported a person on the back of the planks who was in charge of guiding the wood with the help of oars made of faya (beech) or heather, used to brake at the end of the journey, avoid stones or accelerate during the journey. route, from the upper area of Amparo to the sawmills or the Port of San Marcos, where the wood is shipped.
In a brochure published by the City Council in 2017 it is stated: «Tradition arises in the ancestral work of transporting wood from the sawmill that was in the San Antonio neighborhood, located in the upper area of Icod, to the town center. city and the port, with the purpose of supplying the construction of houses and the manufacture of wine barrels and ships. «The pack animals dragged the planks on which a person stood who directed the wood with beech or heather oars, avoiding the stones and curves of the road, while at the same time giving speed to the long planks along steep Icodense slopes, such as San Antonio, Calzada de Alzola and Hércules streets.