Cuenca kicked off the celebration of the 462nd anniversary of its Spanish founding on Friday with a ceremony in Parque Calderon. This year’s festival includes 170 events, including parades, craft and food fairs and concerts by international performers.
Cuenca Mayor Marcelo Cabrera and Vice-Mayor Ruth Caldas handed event agendas which are available to the public at city iTur offices, hotels and restaurants. The celebration continues through April 26.
Among events next week are performances of the National Music Festival in El Barranco Tuesday night, the Parade for Cuenca on Av. Loja on Wednesday night, a student parade on Calle Simon Boliar Thursday morning and the Workers’ Fair at the Casa del Obrero at El Batán and Edwin Sacoto. On Thursday night, Venezuelan singer Karina will perform in Parque Calderon.
According to Caldas, a number of crafts and food fairs open Monday, including two in the historic district at Parque San Blas and at the PRAC artisanal square at Simon Bolivar and Av. Huayna Capac
Among the headliner events in this year’s celebration is the grand opening of the new Doce de Abril mercado at Av. Guapondelig and General Eloy Alfaro.
As with other foundation festivals, Cabrera reminded Cuencanos that the celebration is of Cuenca’s establishment as a Spanish city in 1557 but that the city had existed as a Cañari community and later an Inca capital long before the Spanish arrived. For most of its history, Cuenca went by its Cañari name of Guapondelig.