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The first critics of the Harvest are us

In Mendoza, many people think that the National Harvest Festival “is always the same”. However, for us, it is our brand since 1936.

The  National Harvest Festival  consists of a series of shows that take place for a whole week. However, the most important thing happens on Saturday, usually,  the first Saturday in March. That is the day when the central act takes place. Which is, in essence, the real harvest festival. This is composed of a set of artistic paintings,  forming a kind of superwork theatrical and musical. Whereas, in the end, the election of the queen is made. We, the Mendoza, are identified.

A tradition with history

However, everything that is repeated tires. As in life itself.  The first Harvest Festival took place in 1936  and, although it had a tour of San Martín Avenue, a central event was immediately held in a winery and the election of the queen. That is to say that, since its inception, the Fiesta is more or less the same. But not only in terms of order and artistic performances that make up the night of the central act, but  the central act itself, that set of artistic paintings, is similar year after year. 

The act is usually composed of  12 or 14 frames of about 5 or 6 minutes each.  Everyone is developing a story, respecting a plot thread. That's why the event has a director and a screenwriter. Besides, always, there is a voiceover that goes narrating. The most repeated paintings and which, it seems, can not miss are  the arrival of immigrants   , the homage to the Virgen de la Carrodilla, urban expressions ranging from tango to more contemporary rhythms, St. Martin's figure, storms and hail affecting the harvest, etc. 

So, hours later, or the next day, the comment of those who attended the Greek theater Frank Romero Day, or those who watched the party on television, is in the style of  “always the same”, “they can't think of anything new”, “next year I don't come or crazy”, etc. Because we are like that  , we think we are critics of a show more than a year of preparation, with thousands of artists on a stage of 4 thousand square meters.

 When to be repetitive is necessary 

Beyond everything exposed, to  be repetitive in the Harvest is necessary. It is that the aspects that reproduce again and again, year after year, are what mark our culture , our tradition.   We felt totally identified with San Martín and his experience in Mendoza, with  Virgen de la Carrodilla  and her care over the vineyards, and with immigrants,  who laid the roots of millions of Argentine families.

On the other hand, while these topics are always present, each director decides to represent it in his own way. Thus, over the years,  San Martín has appeared from the hills or on stage, immigrants have been represented with giant puppets and Virgen de la Carrodilla has also had various participations.  

Therefore, when we hear the claim that Harvest “is always the same”, we should take it only as an opinion. Within what our tradition allows, the Harvest is renewed year by year. Technology makes its contribution. The doors are open for the contemporary, the modern. Like, for example, this year, where  reggaeton won a space between the tonada and the cueca.  

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