The San Marcos Fair

Done annually, the Fair of San Marcos is a popular festival celebrated in the city of Aguascalientes, capital of the state of the same name. This event generates a lot of expectation in a lot of people, and is a must-see if you are visiting the country.

The origin of this festival dates from October 1828, when government, traders and citizens gathered together to buy and sell agricultural and livestock products. This was done on a commercial center called the Parián (which is still open but with a modern environment, which includes the stores and elevators). Originally this festival was held towards the end of October until mid-November. As years went by, people from nearby states came to the event, new products emerged, the festival turned into a very popular event, and consequently, the attendance increased.

This way the area of the Parián was insufficient, and (after one brief interruption) the festival moved towards the garden of San Marcos in 1851, where its ‘nucleus’ was established. A change occurred on the date as well, now being in April the 25th to make it coincide with the Day of San Marcos. Exhibitions showing the latest innovations in agricultural machinery and new inventions had their own place at the festival, as well. The “Exposition Hall” was open until 1888.

The Fair has had its own beauty contest since 1924. Lately it has shown to be open-minded and tolerant since it’s organization included a beauty contest for people from the LGBT community.

Even though the festivities were thought with an economic and religious purpose in mind, the influence of people and the increased attendance it has experienced, has turned it into a great attraction for tourists, since its shows combine contemporary spectacles and Mexican traditions.

Some activities available and things to do at the San Marcos Fair, are:

• Observe, bid and applaud to the cockfights, where fighters from all over the country take their chance to be the annual winner.
• Get on a ride.
• Watch the bullfighting shows and exhibitions.
• Enjoy the great livestock exhibition, where you can buy or trade your animal.
• Admire the horse racings.
• Visit the beautiful Garden of San Marcos.
• Participate (either as spectator or playing) on the several sports events (Soccer, wrestling, racing and boxing amongst others).
• Be part of the great nightlife in clubs, restaurants, bars and entertainment centers.
• Check the multiple cultural activities, which range from theatrical plays and music to narrative and poetry.
• Tours into city’s downtown.
• Of course, watching the fireworks.
• Play at the casino, which offers a lot of games.
• Charro exhibitions and typical sweets.
• Enjoy the gastronomy of the local cuisine.
• Watch the parades.
• Take the children to activities such as puppets, theater plays and clown shows.

An interesting fact is that the Palenque building, which is located in the rear part of the Convention Center, went through remodeling in 2009 and now can accommodate up to 5000 people.

However, the most representative aspect of this Fair is the Monumental Plaza de Toros Aguascalientes, a building that can accommodate up to 15,000 people. The Plaza is decorated with symbols of tauromachy, and on the upper part, it holds the Coat of Arms of the State of Aguascalientes.

Due to its great importance, reputation and colorfulness, this huge festival has been given the sobriquet of “The Fair of México”. This great event reached, on 2010, the category of ‘International’, similar to those Fairs like the ones held at Calgary (Canada), Sevilla (Spain) and Nimes (France). If you wish to visit The Fair, we highly recommend you to take advantage of the many specials available at the local hotels, which may offer packages with even a fourth night for free, online booking and all-inclusive options!

Photo: Crisol Plural
Artículo Producido por el Equipo Editorial Explorando México.
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