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Monday, November 23, 2020

Icod without the Tablas de San Andrés

Arrastre de las tablas in Icod de los Vinos Photo: Revista BienMeSabe Some rights reserved

Authorities ask residents, for the first time in history, not to observe the tradition

Yet another covid casualty, as Icod de los Vinos is to be without it's tradition of the arrastre de las tablas or Tablas de San Andrés - where youngsters hurtle down the town's vertiginous streets on makeshift sleds on the eve of St Andrew's Day, 29 November. 

Mayor of Icod de los Vinos, Francis González (CC), has asked locals, for the first time in history, not to observe the tradition of arrastre de las tablas for the the festival of San Andrés. The restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic on the island of Tenerife currently, force the council to ask residents and visitors to put away their boards and not slide down the steep streets of the municipality at least until November 2021.

The council doesn't directly organise this popular tradition, but it does facilitate it by closing streets and installing lighting and protective elements in the areas of greatest risk, where many used tires are piled up. This year, due to Covid-19, the council has been forced to eliminate all these measures and to ask, publicly, that no one put themselves at risk on streets that will continue to be open to traffic and without the usual security measures.

González acknowledged that it has been a very difficult decision as mayor and "as an Icodean who still gets out his board every year to slide." He assures that, after holding at least three local security meetings, and several meetings with other groups in the municipality, they had worked until the last moment to find alternatives that would allow maintaining the tradition in November 2020, "but it has been impossible."

The mayor urges residents "not to be tempted to pick up a board and slide".

Local Police, Civil Guard and the Canary Police will carry out special controls on key days, especially November 29 and 30, to enforce this prohibition on celebrating the popular festivities. The staff of the Icod de los Vinos Council will also carry out rounds to remove any tires that may be placed, without authorization, in the streets. “It is usual that when we put out the tyres, some more appear that young people keep in lots, orchards and classrooms, but this year all those that are in public spaces will be removed. We will be vigilant so that conditions are not created that endanger public safety and health”, warned González.

Icod de los Vinos Council will launch messages in the coming days through the media and social networks to raise awareness, especially among the youngest, that "this year San Andrés cannot be celebrated as usual."