Peña El arao

President: Mr Francisco Forte Palao

Members: 60

Peña El Arao had up to 80 members, making it very difficult for everyone to fit on their float. Therefore, in 2000 thirteen of the founding members decided to create the Peña “El Arao”.
As its emblem the Peña has an “Arao” (Ard), a Roman style plough. In their first year 40 members participated in the festivities. In 2001 they participated in the parade in the heavy rain, having to put plastic coverings over their float entitled “Tradición, vino y bailes”. The following year they obtained the 6th prize awarded by the Department of Agriculture for the float entitled “Mucha Paja y Poco Grano”.
Among its members this Peña has a very popular personality, the grandfather Eufrosio López; who has directed and made many amazing floats for many years.
Eufrosio was general secretary of the Union of Peasants. After the decline of the festivities during the seventies, he, together with the mayor of Yecla, Mr Francisco Guillén Castaño; and the Councillor of Culture, Mr José Santa Férriz; managed to recover the greatness of the Saint Isidore festivities.
In the year 2004 the Peña organised and presented a play by the poet Martín Martí Font—crier of the Saint Isidore festivities for many years— entitled “Que alhaja de muchacho”. And, in 2005, as a cultural event, they presented the plays “La Farsa del cornudo apaleado” and “Tarde de primavera” at the Concha Segura theatre. In the year 2008, they organised an exhibition of allegorical painting of the Saint Isidore festivities of the Yeclan painter Virtudes López Tomás. Furthermore, at the exhibition there was also a collection of miniature paintings by Juan Llacer. In 2010 the Federation of Peñas requested them to feature their float “El baño de antaño” in the International parade along with the Queens and Ladies at the Bonfires of San Juan in Alicante. In 2012 they held an exhibition of photographs regarding the festivities at the offices of the Association of Mayordomos.

Awards won: In 2000 the Peña obtained the first “Vitivinícola” prize, for their float called “Tradición, vino y bailes”. In 2003, they obtained a 6th prize with the float entitled “Yecla y sus vinos”. In 2004, they received an award from the Department of Agriculture for their float “Cosas de antaño”. In 2005, they won the 6th prize with the float called “Sueño de la mujer Yeclana”. In 2006, the 6th prize with the float “Los Pilares de Nuestra tierra”. In 2007, they won the 6th prize for their float “Erase que Era”. In 2008, they obtained a 9th prize in the adult category for the float entitled “Flor en flor”. In 2009. they obtained a runner-up for the float “El vino vuela”. In 2010, a 4th prize with the float “El Baño de antaño”. In 2011, the 3rd prize with the float “Los recuerdos de mi madre”. In 2012, they obtained the 5th prize for their float “Las ardillas”. In 2013, a 12th prize for the float “Flores silvestres”. In 2014, the 2th prize for the float “Corazón de fiestas”. In 2015, they received the 2nd prize for the float “Elevando anclas”. In 2016, an 11th prize with the float “Como está el parque”. In 2017, the name of their float was “Esto es Yecla”. The float was taken out of competition and it was chosen to represent Yecla in the Murcian capital in the Bando de la Huerta festivities. In 2018, the Peña participated in the Bando de la Huerta once again, not participating in the float contest in the parade in Yecla. That year the float was called “El Transporte del pasado”. In 2019, they were awarded the 10th prize for the float “Lo Mejor de Yecla”.

The Peña’s Queens and Ladies elected for the festivities: 2000, Junior Queen (Sandra Ortega García). 2001, Adult Queen (Esther García Palao). 2002, Adult Queen (María Dolores Forte Ortega); Adult Lady (Inmaculada Zarzuela Marín) and Adult Lady (Laura Romero Manzanares). 2003, Junior Lady (María Gracia Roch Amorós). 2004, Junior Lady (María Bru Benedito). 2007, Junior Lady (Claudia Pérez Ortíz) and Junior Lady (Alicia Bañón Ibáñez). 2009, Adult Lady (Nerea del Valle Soler) and Junior Lady (Inmaculada Val Santa). 2011, Junior Lady (Paula Juan López). 2017, Junior Lady (Elena López Cánovas). 2018, Junior Lady (Natacha Mayor Ródenas). And, 2019, Junior Lady (Aihona Candela Román).

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