Until March 6th 2016, the biggest Gaucho Festival of Uruguay, the ¨Patria Gaucha¨, took place in Tacuarembó in northern Uruguay.
Since 1987 so called ¨Sociedades Criollas¨, social clubs cultivating the old traditions of the Uruguayan countryside, celebrate the ¨Patria Gaucha¨, the ¨gaucho mother land¨, during 5 days every year in the beginning of March.
Since Uruguayos love to compete (e.g. Carnival :) ), also this festival is based around a competition: The sociedades score points in different categories, such as recreating a typical lodging of the Uruguayans in the countryside before the year 1920, cooking traditional foods and showing their horseback riding skills in rodeos and ¨doma gaucha¨ (gaucho dressage).
I visited the festival for the first time in 2014 and it was a great experience: you feelcatapulted back into the last century and into a parallel society, surrounded by people in traditional gaucho clothing and many of them moving around the festival ground on horseback.