The district celebrates the XXXIII Crew Meeting without the traditional distribution of food with the assistance of dozens of neighbors and visitors
The Murcian district of Patiño lives its big day this Sunday with the celebration of the XXXIII Meeting of Crews, declared a Festival of Regional Tourist Interest, after the suspension last year due to the pandemic. However, it has not been a complete celebration due to the restrictions that are still in place due to the incidence of Covid-19. Among the most notable measures of the directive of the peña orchard ‘La Hijuela’, organizer of the event, is the suspension of the distribution of balls between neighbors and visitors. “It is a necessary measure to avoid possible contagion,” the organizers indicated.
The crews had a reception at nine in the morning in the Plaza de la Iglesia, where they proceeded to distribute chocolate with churros to the public. “That has not been missing today,” stressed a neighbor. At 10:00 am, the Aguilando Mass took place, in which the Patiño and Aledo crews took part and after the religious ceremony, the meeting of the crews began. Although the party was not complete, dozens of people attended the folkloric show on Trovero Manuel Cárceles Avenue. «We come from Alhama to see the minstrels. It is the first time that we attend, that is why we do not miss the distribution of balls, ”explained the couple formed by María Dolores and Pedro. Who did remember the gastronomic feast was Gloria, a resident of the district, who considers that it is a social festival “and food is the center of coexistence that reigns in the town.”
For her part, Maribel, a ‘ball player’, explains that although the balls are not in the street, in each house in Patiño there is a pot on fire. “Today I make balls for six.” For them, for the women of the district in charge of making the balls, it was the first applause at the beginning of the meeting of gangs on the stage located on the avenue that bears the name in memory of ‘El Patiñero’.
The president of the Community, Fernando López Miras, attended the event that combines folklore and gastronomy, and described its celebration as “important” after two years of suspension. Likewise, he remembered those people who created “this party out of nothing.” To Manuel Cárceles ‘El Patiñero’, to ‘Niña Aurora’ and to Tío Juan Rita. “With the memory of him, we are going to celebrate this day with caution, because the pandemic is not over and we have to adapt. That is why this year there will be no traditional distribution of balls.
For his part, the mayor of Murcia, José Antonio Serrano, highlighted the importance of the festival, after his declaration last November of regional tourist interest, the effort of the ‘La Hijuela’ peña orchard to get the crews out again to the street, “something very relevant, because it unites people, despite the fact that today we don’t have the smell of balls, and, in addition, it sends the message that the pandemic seems to be coming to an end.”