Any time is a good time to visit Remedios, but if possible time your visit for Christmas week for the annual parranda. By December, the townsfolk are feverishly preparing for their parranda, which culminates on December 24.
The wild and racket-filled event is a dangerous business, as rockets whiz into the crowd and every year several people are injured. Don’t wear flammable nylon clothing. Be sure to check out the midnight mass in the cathedral. Next day streets are littered with spent drunks and fireworks.
On December 26 those citizens who have recovered celebrate the city’s “liberation” by Che Guevara’s Rebel Army. Pickpockets abound.
There’s a good reason that El Louvre (tel. 042/39-5639, daily 8 a.m.–2 a.m.), on the plaza’s south side, gets packed: It serves draft Cristal beer. Next door, Las Leyendas (tel. 042/39-6131, daily 8 a.m.–2 a.m.) hosts a cabaret espectéculo (Fri.–Sun. at 10 p.m., CUC1).
Traditional music and dance is performed at the Casa de la Cultura (Gómez, esq. José de Pena, tel. 042/39-5581, Tues.–Sun. 9 a.m.–11 p.m.), one block east of the main square.
The Teatro Ruben Mártinez (Cienfuegos #30, tel. 042/39-5346, Mon.–Fri. 8 a.m.–5 p.m.), built in the late 19th century with a triple-tiered horseshoe-shaped auditorium, hosts classical and other performances.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Cuba, 5th Edition