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The "fair of smiles" opened yesterday in Guanajuato. The "fair of smiles" opened yesterday in Guanajuato.

142-year-old fair is cultural heritage

León State Fair, one of Mexico's biggest, runs for 26 days until February 6

The government of Guanajuato has decreed that the 142-year-old León State Fair, celebrated annually in the state’s capital, is now part of the state’s intangible cultural heritage.

Governor Miguel Márquez Márquez issued the decree yesterday during the opening ceremony of the fair, which also marked the 442nd anniversary of the founding of León.

“To keep [the fair] going for 142 years and to keep it family friendly has no price. It is an intangible cultural heritage, it’s something that will stay forever, and this decree brings the efforts of the three levels of government . . . and society together, making sure that it continues for future generations,” the governor said.

The fair “is an event we all feel proud of, and is respected across the country and around the globe.” As such, the event has been part of the International Festivals & Events Association (IFEA) since 2016.

“Everyone can come to this fair,” continued Márquez, “where peace, happiness and enthusiasm reign. There are no differences here, because those with and without money alike can come.”

More than 5 million people are expected to visit the event, dubbed “the fair of smiles,” during its 26-day run and enjoy cultural, gastronomic and recreational attractions. One of the largest such events in Mexico, it ends February 6.

The state Secretariat of Tourism expects the fair to generate an economic spillover of  over 2.8 billion pesos, or just under US $147 million.

A livestock show and exhibition also opened yesterday on the fairgrounds, an event that attracts 110 livestock breeders from around the country and some 2 million visitors.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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