The Fair of San Marcos

César Lozano Díaz

Semana Santa, México

Feria de San Marcos 2009Only four years after being officially named a city and barely seven after Independence was achieved, Aguascalientes celebrated its first fair in November 1828, under the archway of a typically colorful Mexican market. In 1848, it was moved to its present location, in the same garden where, since then, the fair has been held every April.

Feria de San Marcos 2009Nowadays, the fair celebrates tradition hand in hand with modernity, giving a feel of colonial Mexico, remnants of which can be seen in the architecture, fusing with the everyday life of the 21st century. This typical Mexican fiesta, harkening back to the days of old, combines colonial architecture with the very modern touch of a city on the cusp of the cutting edge.

San Marcos Fair 2009The fair extends for nearly 200 acres, where you can find true, honest-to-goodness hospitality, Aguascalientes style. Seven million visitors come yearly to the fair, which, this year, will take place from April 18 to May 10 and will provide nearly two million events, most of which are free. There are also artists and singers of international fame, who liven up the festivities of the different events like the Coronation of the Queen of the Fair, the traditionally embroidered regional wear contest and the spring parade.

Feria de San Marcos 2009

Feria de San Marcos 2009The prestigious national award in art, Arte Joven, is awarded here, in the city where Jose Guadalupe Posada, famous for his etchings of La Catrina (a famous figure in Mexican folklore, a skeleton dressed in a large plumed hat and a dress typical of the late 1800s), was born. Theater, music, dance and literature inundate and take you to places only your imagination is capable of taking you. The Plaza de Toros Monumental (the Monumental Bullfighting Plaza) is one of the most beautiful in the country, also emits art and can seat up to 15,000 people. Well known bullfighters from Mexico, Spain and other countries also come to defend their reputations in the Plaza de Toros San Marcos, inaugurated in 1896, where one of the most important bullfighting festivals in all of the Americas takes place.

Feria de San Marcos 2009The Island of San Marcos also occupies an important place in this Fair. It is acres upon acres of the larges livestock fair in all of Mexico, a horse racetrack, a zoo, a kiddie farm (where children can learn how to take care of the environment), a motocross race track and an amusement park with roller coasters.

Feria de San Marcos 2009This year, France is the special guest country of the fair, which will feature French regional food, cultural displays and movies, as well as the main attraction, a concert with French pop star, Alizee.

Feria de San Marcos 2009The nights of San Marcos breathe a youthful air. Enjoy concerts and a multicolored laser show with artists such as Juan Gabriel, Vicente Fernandez or Marco Antonio Solis, popular singers in Mexico. The bars at the fair bring together hundreds of young people together for a night of fun and good times.

There are also the casinos, where you can play big, as well as the cock fights, where you can bet big. Both aspects have been very emblematic of the fair for many years now.

For all this and much more, Aguascalientes is an excellent travel option during April and May. Celebrate tradition and happiness and surprise yourself. Come to the Fair of San Marcos, the most important event of Aguascalientes! Come to the Fair of Mexico!

Written by César Lozano Díaz