Each province, parish and town in Argentina holds a country show each year and one of the most important of these is the Fiesta de la Tradicion held each October in San Antonio de Areco- a small, handsome town 60 km from the city of Buenos Aires.
The main activity of the Argentine country show is the jineteada, the rodeo to break in the young, untamed horses. The main arena is thronged with people watching this spectacle which at times can be quiet brutal to the riders, but is an important part of life in a country that still relies on horsepower for many day to day tasks.
Horses are a very important part of the rural culture in Argentina. You will see children as young as 3 or 4, perched on a full horse all day quite comfortably skitting around between events as if they had never set foot on the ground.
There are many stalls selling artesian products, from jams and leather saddles to criollo-silver knives and ponchos.
The food is a great attraction with all day grills serving up endless chorizo and beef, washed down with local beer and the Argentine drink of choice, Fernet and Coke.
As night falls people gather around a large fire with guitars, and more drinks and meat to watch the traditional gaucho dances and celebrate the event under the large, clear Argentine night sky.
What sets San Antonio de Areco apart from the many other country shows is its proximity to Buenos Aires, combined with its excellent tourist infrastructure, its status as an important historic centre of museums and monuments to countryside life in Argentina and the natural beauty of the town’s architecture and nature.