A traditional fiesta for the patron saint of Corrales, San Ysidro, is planned for the weekend of May 14-15. It will be highlighted by a procession accompanying a statue of the saint from the Old Church to the new Catholic Church on Corrales Road following a 10 a.m. outdoor mass in front of the Old Church that Sunday. The procession along Old Church Road and Corrales Road will be led by the colorful and mysterious Matachines dancers. The fiesta that follows at the parish hall behind the church will include traditional food, music, a 50-50 raffle and a cake-walk referred to as a “sweets-walk.”
An online silent auction fundraiser for the church will be conducted at sanysidroparish.org. Admission to the fiesta is free and open to the general public. Saturday events are highlighted by bingo and fiesta food arranged by the Knights of Columbus.
Corrales’ first Catholic church was built around 1750 at a site north of Dixon Road, well east of what is now Corrales Road. That adobe-terrón structure was destroyed by a flood from the Rio Grande in 1868. It was replaced by what is now known as the Old Church, well west of Corrales Road, which was, in turn replaced by the current San Ysidro Church on Corrales Road in 1962.
As in most past years, the Sunday procession is led by dancers from the Bernalillo-based Matachines de San Lorenzo which has performed for more than 300 years. The dance is thought to have originated in Spain in the mid-1600s to enact the classic battle between good and evil, or more specifically, between Christianity and non-Christians.
Key characters in the street drama are el Monarca, a Native American ruler, soldiers wielding three-pronged “swords of the Holy Trinity” and a toro, or bull, figure representing Satan or the devil who must be overcome.