What do cantaloupes thrown from floats, beauty queens, chacarera performances, and a procession of the Virgin Mary have in common?
All these otherwise random events are a part of Mendoza’s Vendimia, the town’s annual harvest festival.
It all starts with the Carousel, a parade where the contestants for Harvest Queen ride on floats through the streets and throw fruit to the thousands of onlookers. Locals come prepared with buckets on sticks to maximize their chances of catching grapes, melons, and in one case, grilled meat!
Carmela, hoping to catch grapes from 100 yards away..
The next night we joined the over 25,000 people to watch a full night of dancing of various styles which ended with the crowning of the contestant from “Las Heras” as Harvest Queen and the most impressive fireworks show ever!
packed mountainside with festival crashers trying to get a glimpse of the action..