Heathcote took on a Spanish flavour during the third El Rocio pilgrimage on the weekend.BARBARA SUNGAILA March 19, 2014 4:10am
Pilgrims paraded down High St on Friday to start the Heathcote El Rocio festival. Photo: Barbara Sungaila
Spain came to Heathcote over the weekend when visitors flocked to the third El Rocio pilgrimage.
The footpath outside the RSL was a swirl of colour on Friday morning and the sound of castanets and flamenco music filled the air.
Maria Gormez, originally from La Mancha, said the festival was about community and religion.
‘‘We get together and share our food, religion and laughs,’’ she said.
Virginia Alcazar, originally from Madrid, said she had been to all three El Rocio festivals in Heathcote.
‘‘A lot of us only see each other here. We have busy lives,’’ she said.
Celebrations started with a flamenco mass, and then a walk with pilgrims following the Virgin del Rocio in her highly-decorated cart.
Tiffany Ayres led the procession on her Andalusian horse Romanzo, from Yalkin Stud in South Australia.
The McIvor Creek stood in for the Rio Quema
El Rocio began in 1653 when the Virgin of Las Rocinas was appointed Patron Saint of Almonte in Andalusia, Spain.
In Andalusia pilgrims travel in groups for between one and seven days, generally sleeping outdoors before taking part in a number of religious ceremonies.
The original Spanish festival has attracted more than one million pilgrims in recent years but the Australian event is on a far more modest scale.
Police abandoned a pursuit near Shepparton East for safety concerns after the pursued car reached speeds of 140km/h.
Some of Australia’s best kayakers were in Yarrawonga on Sunday at the annual Yarrawonga-Mulwala Canoe Club’s Murray River Classic kayak race.
Volunteers at St Vincent de Paul in Tatura continue to be dismayed at the amount of unsuitable items dumped at the centre in Francis St.
Budding basketballer Krystelle Lloyd will represent Australia at the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles this year.
Corop’s Clem Furphy received an Order of Australia Medal for his service to health care and the Goulburn Valley community in this year’s Australia Day honours list.
Bianca Chatfield to speak at Kyabram Sportstar of the Year
Alan McLean looks back at Seymour's history of larrikings, louts and bushfires.
New tourism venture, Old Woperana Working Farm and Animal Nursery, is now open to the public.
Warm weather during the Christmas/New Year period saw large crowds enjoy facilities at the region’s major water storages.
Recent weather conditions have come as a mixed blessing for farmers, with high rainfall and humidity providing a respite for irrigators as well as difficult growing and picking conditions for fruit growers.
Deniliquin region deemed ideal for paragliding by world's best.
From orchards to harvest to shelves, a new exhibition will celebrate the Goulburn Valley’s iconic fruit industry. The Photos of the Fruit Industry exhibition will run as part of the SheppARTon Festival in March and aims to share memories and history of an industry that has shaped the region.
Salvation Army Benalla Majors Heather and Peter Ellis have relocated to Melbourne.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.