This weekend sees the start of the very first Valley & Black Cake Regional Festival. This year, the city of Trelew was chosen as a meeting point. The Valley & Black Cake Festival is the Region newest annual festival. This unique festival right in the heart of the Comarca VIRCH-Valdés (region covering the Lower Valley of the Chubut River and the Península Valdés) combines traditional food (specially the Patagonian Welsh black cake), live music events and touristic stands over one full on fun packed weekend from the 25th to the 27th of July from 10am to 7pm.
The First “Valley & Black Cake Regional Festival” will be inaugurated by the Mayor of Trelew, Máximo Pérez Catan, at 10.30 am on July 25 in Trelew as mentioned before; nevertheless, all the mayors of the cities within the valley were invited to the ceremony. With a tent installed between two Municipal Museums, “Egidio Feruglio” and “Pueblo de Luis“, from Friday July 25 to Sunday July 27 -10am to 7pm- visitors will be able to enjoy performances by important artists of the region, to taste cakes and to appreciate the potential sites of this Comarca.
In the Museum “Pueblo de Luis”, there will be talks on different topics, mainly related to the Welsh landing and, in the meeting hall of the Hotel Touring Club they will be offering tastings of the black cake, and a stand of the San David Association.
Local artists will be performing each day at the Plaza de las Colectividades (Communities’ Square) in Trelew. During this weekend, the coffee shops of the downtown will give a piece of black cake along with the tea or coffee. This action is intended to create a climate of Welsh holiday commemorating the 149 years of the settlers’ arrival to our region and to support the development of the first edition of what will be a regional festival in which all the cities will participate.
Delivering a piece of black cake also means a friendly gesture of the city to its citizens, highlighting local traditions.
“The aim is to incorporate the Welsh black cake in our everyday life and to appropriate its flavor and assimilate the pleasure of eating it as any other classic cake. In addition, the objective is to make the product be something that identifies us as a community, turning it into a genuine tourist souvenir for its cultural roots settled in this area,” said the manager of the EnTreTur (Tourist Bureau of Trelew), Carlos Bergara.
EnTreTur stressed that “Trelew owes its origin to the Welsh historic feat and to those who shared with the indigenous communities the territory forging the gradual integration of other immigrants who ended up building the present-day city.”
Thus, according to the fact that “the 28th of July is the genesis of the settlement and, in the official calendar, is a significant date which citizens remember and celebrate it traditionally by having a gala tea ceremony and enjoying Welsh pastries” the Trelew City Hall and the Tourist Bureau EnTreTur want to stress “the importance of an icon of the local culture such as the Welsh Black Cake.”
In this way, the promotion aims to “create a special festive atmosphere so that the entire resident community joins the commemoration of the date in a friendly way.” This festival, which will be to the benefit to all those communities of the Comarca, will facilitate integration and foster cooperation amongst them.
Although it is Trelew where the event will take place, all the cities of the Comarca VIRCH-VALDÉS will display all their tourism, productive, cultural and social potential. Having the main objective of strengthening Trelew, Rawson, Gaiman, Dolavon, 28 de Julio, Puerto Madryn and Puerto Pirámides, this first edition was designed as an event prior to the activities which will be performed next year in July for the 150th anniversary of the Welsh arrival in Chubut -celebration on which different cities have been working, not only in Argentina but also in Wales.
This festival takes place during the period of the designation of the black cake as an “Intangible Heritage of Trelew“; due to this reason, the main event of this celebration will be the traditional contest of choosing the best Welsh Black Cake.
During the festival, there are several options depending on what things you want to see and do, for more information visit our website http://www.trelewturismo.wordpress.com to stay updated with everything going on in the festival.
To sum up, the event is held for promoting tourism and cultural attractions, while commemorating the arrival of the first contingent of Welsh settlers to Patagonia on July 28th, 1865.
Visitors will appreciate the stands which will be informing them about the tourist, productive, cultural and social activities of each city within the Comarca while enjoying artistic performances and even the presentation of the activities that will take place in each city during the period of the July 28th celebration.
The person in charge of the “Protocol and Ceremonial Department” of the Trelew City Hall said that “It’s a festival which will be performed for the first time as part of the celebrations for the sesquicentennial of the Welsh settlement. It is the first time that all the cities of the Comarca came together on a project and organize an event collectively.”
Regarding the tasting of black cakes, she said “We called not only tea houses to participate but also individuals from the entire region” because there is not only one single recipe of the cake due to the fact that different versions have been passed from generation to generation.
Finally, she stressed that “All the cakes will be exhibited in the meeting hall of the Hotel Touring where visitors will be able to taste the different versions according to the tea house or family that made them; besides, each cake will be exhibited with its corresponding recipe. In addition, those who are visiting the exhibition will be able to purchase cakes there.”
Delegation to Wales
A group of the Asociación Patagonia Céltica (Celtic Patagonia Association) from Trevelin will participate from Monday July 21 in the Royal Welsh Show, the largest livestock show taking place in Wales, promoting the activities that will be undertaken in Chubut for the 150th anniversary of the settlers’’ arrival in this province. Then, this delegation will be present in the Eisteddfod in Cardiff, where the Gov. Martín Buzzi will be attending along with some mayors of Chubut.
The Valley & Black Cake Regional Festival will take place this long weekend, offering a great opportunity to get out in the fresh air and explore your local area… learning more about your city and enjoying at the same time all the activities offered! In fact, there will be delicious cakes to be tasted which help to escape the bitter cold of the winter present in Patagonia this time of year.
For more information on all events and how to get there, visit our website, follow us on twitter @trelewturismo or ‘Like’ our Facebook page www.facebook.com/CiudadTrelew
valley, black cake, Welsh black cake, Chubut river, Patagonian Welsh, traditional food, touristic stands, regional festival,Intangible Heritage, traditional contest, cultural attractions
Welsh historic feat
Royal Welsh Show