Gustine, in California’s San Joaquin Valley, can transport you to Old World Portugal. Matadors, cavaleiros and forcados donned in colorful old-fashioned garb along with the fiesta atmosphere preserve the culture of this distant land.
Keeping alive the Portuguese and Azorean tradition of bullfighting, bloodless bullfights provide all the artistry and pageantry of the real thing, without death or injury to the animals. A swatch of Velcro on the bull’s back and Velcro-tipped “swords” make this possible.
When bullfights were outlawed in California, the Portuguese community received an exemption for their bloodless variation as long as they’re linked to a religious festival.
On most weekends, you’ll find one in a dusty little town in the Central Valley. Lively music, dancing and lots of linguiça and other great food are in abundance.
Events in Gustine start about 7:30 p.m. at Bella Vista Plaza Arena, Preston Road at Santa Fe Road. Tickets are $20, free for those under twelve. If you go, be sure to bring lots of mosquito repellant.
More info: (209) 678-2478, californiabullfights.info.