April brings to a close Los Cabos’ whale watching season and also signals the changing of the spring break guard. During March, area beaches are packed with students from the United States and Canada. During the first week of April, however, the demographics shift with the arrival of Semana Santa. Commonly known as “Mexican Spring Break,” Semana Santa is the holy week that leads up to Easter, and outside Christmas, it is the most important holiday period of the year in México. It’s also peak vacation time, with students and families flocking to popular resort areas
The April event calendar, thus, is composed of a few regularly scheduled cultural get-togethers, several large annual festivals and fundraisers, and also public religious observances and celebrations associated with the Catholic holy days of Semana Santa: most notably, Maundy Thursday (jueves santo), Good Friday (viernes santo), Holy Saturday (sábado de gloria) and Easter Sunday (pascua de domingo).
Here’s a list of some of the most noteworthy regularly scheduled events, as well as the best upcoming festivals, fundraisers, and sporting competitions:
There are three major Art Walks in the area, and two of them are relatively new. Todos Santos has hosted one of the country premier artists colonies for decades, but the town’s Art Walk did not debut until the latter months of 2014, with local studios and galleries showcased on the first Friday of every month. Also new is the Circuito Cultural, held every Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. on the Cabo San Lucas Marina boardwalk. The Circuito Cultural features dozens of exhibitions from local artists, live music and dance, cultural workshops, and special tasting menus from some of the neighborhood’s best restaurants.
The granddaddy of them all (OK, its only been around 14 years), though, is the Thursday night Art Walk in San José del Cabo. Held each Thursday 5 p.m.–9 p.m., November through June, the Art Walk provides an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to explore the many treasures displayed in galleries of the colonial style city’s historic Distrito del Arte. From traditional Mata Ortiz pottery and beaded Huichol Indian figurines to contemporary paintings and sculptures, Art Walk is the perfect introduction to the sophisticated pleasures of downtown San José. Romantic ballads from wandering musicians and many fine Art District based restaurants would also qualify as selling points, but the only thing on sale is the art itself. All three area art walks are free of charge.
Paws ‘n Claws Open Golf Tournament & Dinner
This annual fundraiser for the Los Cabos Humane Society pairs two favorite local activities: golf and fine dining. The open golf tournament takes place April 12 at the Jack Nicklaus–designed Ocean and Mountain courses at Palmilla Golf Club, with raffles and an assortment of prizes to keep things interesting. Later that evening, there will be a cocktail reception and dinner – to include live music and a silent auction – at Don Sanchez Restaurante in San José del Cabo, with a special menu courtesy of chef and restaurateur Tadd Chapman (who also owns Habanero’s and Retro Burger Bar). All-in tickets are $375 U.S., and include access to all the day’s events. Special dinner and cocktail party tickets are available for $125 U.S. For more information, go to www.loscaboshumanesociety.com/events.html.
Bud Light SCORE Baja Sur 500
Although the annual SCORE Baja 1000 (held each year in November) remains the peninsula’s signature off-road racing event, anticipation is high for the inaugural running of this Bud Light sponsored contest, which will be the first SCORE sanctioned point-to-point race held entirely in the state of Baja California Sur. The rugged off-road contest takes place April 16–19, with vehicles across multiple classes – including motorcycles, trucks, and ATVs—starting in Cabo San Lucas, and racing towards the finish line in Loreto. For more information, visit score-international.com/baja-sur-500-schedule/
Gastrovino Food and Wine Festival
Typically held in May, this year’s three-day food and wine fête will take place April 24 – 26 in the coastal pueblo mágico of Todos Santos, about an hour’s drive north of Cabo San Lucas. The celebration of local culture and cuisine—and the wines of Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe—is organized annually by La Bodega de Todos Todos, a local retail shop that specializes in peninsula-produced wines and olive oils. Highlights at this year’s weekend festival are expected to include a pairing dinner hosted by the historic Hotel California, and of course the main event: the Sunday food and wine extravaganza at the town’s plaza principal, with live music and a silent auction to benefit local programs for children. Tickets are available at select sites in Los Cabos, La Paz, and Todos Santos. For more information, go to http://www.gastrovino.mx/.
General Tire NORRA Mexican 1000
The Baja 1000 is now run under the SCORE banner, but that wasn’t always the case. When the legendary off-road race premiered back in the late 1960s, it was sponsored by the National Off-Road Racing Association. NORRA attempted to revive the spirit of those bygone days when it founded the fun, vintage-style Mexican 1000 in 2010. The 6th annual running of the “instant classic” is scheduled to take place April 25–29, with tech inspections in Ensenada, followed by a race that courses through El Rosario, Bahía de Los Angeles, San Ignacio, Loreto, and La Paz, before finishing in Los Cabos. Changes have been instituted to make racing easier for vintage vehicles this year, including split courses to enhance safety and maximize competition within individual classes. For more information, visit www.norra.com/mexican1000.php.