Mendoza’s Gay Vendimia Festival

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photo: courtesy xtasis.org

Mendoza’s Gay Vendimia festival in Argentina’s beautiful wine capital is the largest LGBT event in the country, aside from Buenos Aires huge gay pride celebration.

Under the slogan ‘Vendimia para todxs’ (Vendimia for Everyone) the festivities usually take place the second week in March, after the main Grape Harvest Festival ends.

This conservative northern city has a smaller, more demure gay scene than Buenos Aires, but during this week-long celebration Mendoza lets its freak flag fly high and proud.

In 2013 Argentina’s Tourism Minister declared the newly branded Vendimia para Todxs of ‘national touristic interest’ and added it to their agenda of yearly events.

Now that it has the backing of provincial and national governments, ‘Gay Vendimia’ has now become one of Mendoza’s most popular yearly events.

The Origins of the ‘Gay Vendimia Festival’

2010 contestants for the title of King of Vendimia Gay

Gay Vendimia started as a joke according to Ricardo ‘Tito’ Bustos,  founder and iconic owner of some of Mendoza’s most popular gay nightspots.

Today, the over 20 year-old ‘Fiesta de la Vendimia Gay’ has been rebranded as ‘Vendimia para Todxs‘ (Vendimia for Everyone)  and draws revelers from across the globe, hosting 5,000 spectators for the main event.

As in the mainstream festival, there are activities all week long and a campy Las Vegas style grand finale that includes a beauty contest, with the ‘queen’ in this case in drag of course.

Where to Stay During Gay Vendimia

In Mendoza renting a private apartment with the gay-owned
Modigliani Art and Design Suites or the Dot Confort Suites is an excellent choice.

The staff speaks English and the modern-style fully-equipped suites are in the heart of downtown Mendoza. The group also runs an art gallery, Espacio Modlgliani which host events open to guests including exhibitions, live music and wine tastings.

Both options are a bargain too, with prices starting at US$80 per night. It’s important to book in advance during festival events, when prices surge. If these options are full, check out reviews on other Mendoza hotels and hostels.

To find out more or get tickets for the main event, get in touch with the Mendoza Tourism office or head straight to Mendoza’s local gay establishments and get swept up in the fun.

Vendimia para Todos is a LGBTIQ yearly event in the Mendoza province of Argentina
Gay Vendimia Festival 2020

Main Event & Party & Casting for Candidates for the ‘King’ and ‘Queen’ of Gay Vendimia
Saturday, March 14, 9:00 p.m. -Sunday, March 15 7:00 a.m.
 Arena Maipu Stadium
 
• Cost: AR$800-$20,000, price depends on seating

• Tickets can be purchased in advanced on EventBrite

Take a wine tour, hit a thermal spa, hike to Aconcagua or go rafting in Mendoza — see all tours

• Modigliani Art and Design Suites

• Dot Confort Suites

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