The festival of St. Peter’s knights or otherwise known as “Cavalhadas de Sao Pedro,” is one of the oldest festivals in the Azores and originates in the county of Ribeira Grande in the town of Ribeira Seca. Medieval tournaments inspired them with the region, most notably the Counts of Ribeira Grande, who started this tradition centuries ago. This is one of the most colorful festivals during the summer here in the Azores and is a must-see for the equestrian enthusiast. This annual event occurs at the end of June and has been a tradition for the region for hundreds of years. Here you can watch a beautiful show where hundreds of jockeys are in colorful garments with flowers adoring the horses as they parade down the streets with all the bells and whistles that go along with such a royal parade. The colors are outstanding, and the festival brings locals from all over the island to celebrate in this ancient tradition and pay tribute to the patron saint of the town, St. Peter. The route starts at the 17th Century manor home “Mafoma-Corte Real,” which has remained in the same family since it was built-in 1748. The elaborate garden is opened up for the horses all start here by performing a show for the spectators. After the show at this noble residence, the horses begin to proceed down the parade route to the church of St. Peter’s, where they pay tribute to the town’s patron saint, and a large mass is held. The city of Ribeira Seca shines during this celebration as all the homes and streets are decorated for this special occasion with local plants and flowers and some even hanging white linens from their homes’ windows along the parade route. All these are ancient traditions passed down for generations on the island and are part of the unique island culture that exists here. The town square hosts countless events throughout the day and late into the evening with the streets all lit up, filled with residents, tourists and vendors. The vendors’ food is generally delicious, with a wide variety of local island treats available for you to enjoy. Some of the selections include course, the famous bifana sandwich “Pork sandwich,” which is marinated Portuguese spices and tastes outstanding. It is not uncommon to see line ups of people waiting to get their hands on this famous Portuguese sandwich served in a hot crusty Portuguese roll. The flavors do not compare to anything outside of Azores as the ingredients and water in the bread are much different and are genuinely an Azorean experience while admiring the busy celebration. A special treat is the local island made ice creams from the famous Cha Gorreana tea plantation available at select outlets at the festival. Using only the finest locally grown fruits such as pineapple, passionfruit, mango, and even kiwi, these ice creams have become a must-have since they were launched in 2012.