Antonio Díaz Carro’s name is bound to Botillo. He was a lawyer, secretary of the León Chamber of Commerce and, especially, a scholar and expert on Bembibre’s historical past.
He starred in the first edition when the event organizing committee asked him to say a few words to the audience. In this way, the figure of the mantenedor was born.
A year later, Díaz Carro returned as mantenedor in this new-born event that was already setting its roots on becoming a relevant gastronomic celebration beyond the Bembibre.
As highlighted in the book Memoria Histórica del Festival del Botillo de Bembibre, by Manuel Olano Pastor, in the section dedicated to the mantenedores speech it literally says:
In the first Festival, Antonio Miguel Díaz Carro he won over the audience with an interesting speech about the town and its artistic and monumental wealth, focusing on the exhibition on the traditional Exit of Saint Ecce Homo, “in whose honour we have gathered today to pay homage and reverence”. Díaz emphasized the patrimonial and iconographic values of his Sanctuary. Fast forward to time, he already foreshadowed in this inaugural edition “the meaning that Bembibre’s Botillo Festival is going to have from now on.”
The good reception that Carro’s emotional words had when outlining the profile of Bembibre and his willingness to act as a town crier, led the organizing committee to invite him to the II Festival, now officially as mantenedor. Making in this case a review of the historical evolution of Bembibre and an analysis of the favourable socio-economic situation that was being experienced in the Boeza Basin at that time.