If you work in Madrid city, enjoy your day off this Tuesday, the 15th of May, and thank Madrid’s patron saint, San Isidro Labrador. Also the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro is celebrated every year with a procession through the Carabanchel district of Madrid, as well as various activities in the center.
As San Isidro falls on a Tuesday this year, the celebrations begin today, with the pregón, or kickoff taking place in Plaza de la Villa tonight at 8:00pm. Once the Gigantes y Cabezudos (a few giant statues with enormous heads) arrive in Plaza de la Villa from Plaza Santo Domingo and Plaza del Oriente, San Isidro weekend will officially begin. After the pregón, head to Plaza Mayor to hear a great concert by the Madrid Symphonic Orchestra at 9:30pm.
My favorite part of San Isidro is the music. All weekend in Parque de Las Vistillas (metro Ópera), live music can be heard at practically any time of day. Every evening there will be concerts with a bit more flair and staging and the park will be completely full of people singing and dancing to traditional tunes. However if you want to hear something a bit more contemporary, make your way to the Espacios y Congresos at Puerta del Ángel for PlanetaMadrid. This free concert series celebrates a dedication to sustainable development and runs from approximately 5:00pm to midnight Saturday evening. There will be environmental and education workshops while eight bands play on one of the two stages. On Sunday another concert series, UniversiMAD, will be held in the same space. This is another concert series, but it’s only free to enter if you have an invitation, which you can find at FNAC and opentrada.com. Also, keep your eyes open at the smaller concert venues throughout the weekend, as many of them will be having free shows as part of the celebration.
I think the one of the best parts of the San Isidro program this year will be the fireworks show in Parque Retiro. At 10:30pm on Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday, different pyrotechnics companies will prepare and ignite a spectacle of lights and music at the Alfonso XIII monument. And, like every year, this holiday would not be complete without a visit to La Pradera (also known as Parque de San Isidro, metro: Marques de Vadillo). There will be a different concert in La Pradera every night during the weekend as well as next weekend… don’t miss it!
All of this and much, much more is available during San Isidro weekend. Click here to download the official program and take advantage of your city’s patron fiesta!