Los Locos: Parade and Story
By Jade Arroyo, photo Sean Reagan
The tradition of the Locos parade is one of the most beloved, both by locals and visitors. Its origin comes from the time when orchards abounded in San Miguel, early in the last century.
Los Locos have Saint Pascual Bailón as their patron, a saint of good-natured and cheerful character who is celebrated with great jubilation in San Miguel every May 17. Patron of gardening, farming, and cooking, he is usually represented in Franciscan garb, in an orchard, surrounded by animals. His cult has much to do with soil fertility. The original locos offered him the festive dances while asking the saint for the fertility of the land.
Los Locos Day is held annually on the Sunday after June 13, to celebrate the feast of San Antonio de Padua. To invite the public to join them and to keep the spirits high, the locos take to the streets armed with several kilos of candy in the form of bullets, accompanied by extra-large speakers reverberating tunes of duranguense, banda, electronics, norteño or cumbia music.
Among the locos we can find adventurers who go only for fun and also many pious individuals who march to pay their mandas for favors received from the saint.
On Sunday at 10:30 am, a Mass is celebrated for all the Locos, taking place in the forecourt of the church of San Antonio. At 11am, the parade starts on Salida a Celaya, moving through the streets of Ancha de San Antonio, Zacateros, Canal, Hernández Macías, Insurgentes and Pepe Llanos, Mesones, Núñez, San Francisco, the main plaza, and Portal Allende. After the parade, they head to San Antonio again to dance from 4 to 7pm. At 10pm the party ends with fireworks.