Every year at the end of November, San Jose de Las Tablas is decorated to celebrate a festival that began with the idea to celebrate the founding of this historic town of Los Santos in a traditional way. Although the foundation is on November 29, this festival lasts four days and this year it will take place from November 30 to December 3.
La Pollera is the Protagonists
This celebration honors this impressive Panamanian typical costume, considered the most beautiful in the world, made in an artisanal way and with great skill by female artisans and male work designers who support the final production of the costume from this town. This protagonism is experienced throughout activities and the great parade where women proudly display their typical costume along with the queen of the festival, who this year is her Majesty Susan Janeth Gonzalez Espinosa.
Tribute to the Drum, Musical Instrument of the Region
During this festival, tribute is also paid to the drum, since this typical Panamanian musical instrument is made in this town. Just like La Pollera, in San Jose de Las Tablas there are families that for generations have work on the making of the drum, always sharing the knowledge and enthusiasm for their traditions with young people.
Four Days Full of Joy and Activities
The National Drum and Pollera Festival is celebrated for four days and begins on Thursday the 30th with the coronation of the queen, an activity that opens this great celebration.
On Friday, December 1, Visitors will be able to enjoy the Abraham Vergara Violin Competition, in honor of the composer and musician who left an important legacy in the town and where the most outstanding violinists in the region participate.
On Saturday December 2, the Don Alejandro Cedeño Drum Competition is held, famous artisan for the making of this valuable musical instrument of the Santeño culture. Later in the evening people will be able to enjoy the accordion contest in tribute to Don Hernan Vergara. A tribute is also paid to a great artisan through a raffle to receive the Doña Melida Urriola medal, a Panamanian skirt artisan who was an example of work and talent in the community.
The Festival closes on Sunday with the most anticipated event, the great Polleras Parade, where all the participants parade through the streets of San Jose de Las Tablas town accompanied by the queen who rides on a beautiful float alluding to the typical traditions of the region. However, as a complement during the parade la held the Doña Blasfemia Vergara Singer Contest (daughter of Don Abraham Vergara).
During Friday, Saturday and Sunday, attendees will be able to enjoy typical dances with musicians from the region, one of the activities most enjoyed by locals and visitors.
This is a festival that ensures the continuity of the traditions of the region by having the participation of younger generations throughout the different competitions, as well as those who attend the event from all over Los Santos province.