While Mother Nature is busy doing her bit to replenish Lake Chapala, thousands of devout Roman Catholics will converge at the shoreline Sunday, July 10 to welcome Mother Mary and raise prayers for rainy season bounty.
The religious pilgrimage encompasses the traditional summer visit of the beloved Virgen de Zapopan, famously crowned in 2009 as La Reina del Lago.
A huge entourage of faithful followers will gather at the north end of Avenida Madero early in the morning receive the revered icon with typical fanfare. The petite figure will arrive decked out in fitting regal attire to ride aboard an elaborate float in a colorful procession along the main thoroughfare, starting at 11 a.m.
After passing festive blue and white street decorations and a series of arches adorned with flowers, the Queen of the Lake will be transferred to the outdoor altar set up near the waterfront for the celebration of Mass. Immediately following the service, she will be carried over to the malecón for a blessing over the lake. She will then be ensconced inside the San Francisco church for an overnight vigil.
Weather permitting the following day, locals will accompany the small statue on a nautical jaunt to Alacran Island, leaving the Chapala docks around 9:30 a.m.