Virgin of Guadalupe procession, from Santa Rosa to Windsor. An 8.7-mile trek.
When: Saturday, Dec. 11, 11 p.m. to Sunday, Dec. 12, 5 a.m.
Where: 37 Old Square Courthouse Santa Rosa, California 95404, to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Windsor, via Mendocino Avenue and Old Redwood Highway.
Hundreds of pilgrims from Sonoma County and cities as far away as San Francisco and Sacramento who will participate in the annual procession.
They will trek from Santa Rosa to Windsor, led by a group of believers carrying a wooden platform with large statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico’s most emblematic spiritual symbol.
The walk is one of Sonoma County’s most striking spiritual processions. It is filled with Aztec dancers, carolers holding candles that illuminate their joyous faces in the pitch-black night, rosary-carrying parishioners, and lavishly dressed Charros, Mexican horsemen riding proud.
The procession has been a tradition since 1998 when a group of 10 “Guadalupanos,” people who are devotees of the Virgin, made the first walk.
The procession grew year after year, with as many as a thousand people taking part in the approximately four and a half-hour walk from Santa Rosa to Windsor. Last year’s COVID-19 restrictions put a jarring halt to the procession, Castro says.