One of the greatest Ascoli Piceno attractions is an equestrian tournament held in August called “La Quintana”. The Quintana is essentially a historical re-enactment that has come to include a historical parade, flag throwing competitions, archery competitions, and, ultimately, a joust. It is held on the first Sunday of August in honor of the feast of Sant’Emidio, the patron saint and the first bishop of the city of Ascoli Piceno. There is also a nighttime version of the Quintana held on the second Saturday of June.
Throughout the years, new costumes and new characters have been added, until the modern composition of the festival was reached. This composition is especially seen in the historical parade, which marches through the streets with the cadence of a medieval military drill, accompanied by trumpets, drums and flag throwing displays. Even before the historical parade, though, during the days that precede the first Sunday in August, there are a variety of other competitions and performances that lead up to the main event of the Quintana, the joust. During the joust, competitors must strike a dummy that represents a Moorish soldier, in an attempt to win the Palio, or Flag.
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