Thursday, July 18, 2024

May fairs and festivals: wine, fitness and a traveling cross

Things are heating up in May, and it’s the perfect time to soak up some fun and engage with locals at traditional fairs or at a modern showpiece event. Also, a last-minute advisory for April: if there’s a Mexican child in your life, don’t make the social faux pas of forgetting Dia del Niño (The Day of the Child) on April 30. It’s a big deal in Mexico; kids are feted in school and get gifts from family and friends.

Also a fairly big deal for Mexicans? The Hot Sale, this year happening May 23–31. This online sales event is often compared to Buen Fin or Black Friday in the United States and is when Mexicans get discounts from major retailers on everything from furniture to flights to beauty products to sports equipment. To find out more or get on an email list for notifications of deals, visit the Hot Sale site.

Here’s the rundown of what’s on in Mexico now and all next month.

• San Marcos Festival, Aguascalientes city (Now–May 8)

This 90-hectare festival in Aguascalientes celebrates its 193rd birthday this year and has something for everyone. The Feria Nacional de San Marcos offers visitors colonial tradition in the bullring, music, nightclubs and family attractions on an artificial lake on San Marcos Island. Most of the big Mexican artists are yet to perform as part of the fair’s palenque concerts, including Gloria Trevi, Christian Nodal, Edith Marquéz and Alejandro Fernández. Find tickets here, but note that when you are taken to the Ticketshop website, you must click the link in the middle of the screen where it says to “remove all filters” in order to see the available shows.

electronic artist Ishi
Dallas electronic artist Ishi is one of several artists in the lineup at Cozumel’s Piña Güera Weekend Festival, a three-day dance music event in Cozumel happening May 5–8.

• Expo Festival Guadalupe, Nuevo León  (Now–June 12)

A bull-heavy local festival in Nuevo León’s second biggest municipality with over 70 years of tradition. Expo Feria Guadalupe can entertain the kids at the fairground while parents find their way to the beer garden. Last year, the 60 pesos (US $3) at the gate gave people unlimited access to fairground rides.

National Donkey Festival, Otumba, México state (April 29–May 1)

The running of the donkeys in Otumba, known as the Carrera Internacional del Burro, where the beasts of burden are dressed up in local traditional costumes and run five- and 10-kilometer races. If Donald Trump-themed donkeys or a Buzz Lightyear burro sound appealing, then this is a must. Visitors can also watch a donkey polo match.

Note that the information about buying tickets that is listed at the link we provided applies to racers, not spectators.

• Puebla Festival, Puebla city (April 29–May 14)

Puebla’s major festival returns: the Feria de Puebla at the Centro Expositor y de Convenciones de Puebla (Puebla Expo and Convention Center).

Bull running and cockfighting events, plus music from famed Mexican artists such as Carlos Rivera, Banda MS and Los Tigres del Norte. Concerts start at about 11:30 p.m. Tickets cost from 300-3,500 pesos (US $15-172). See all the events here. Any tickets labeled as “Palenque Puebla” are for concerts at the festival.

And if you’re in town anyway, don’t spend Cinco de Mayo in a bar with a bottle of Corona, head downtown to witness a massive spectacle of military might, floats, indigenous performances and more as the city celebrates not only the 160th anniversary of the 1862 Battle of Puebla with its annual Cinco de Mayo parade — in which Mexican forces beat back French invaders — but also the return of the parade, which hasn’t been put on for two years due COVID-19. Also, President López Obrador is scheduled to be the parade marshall this year.

• Santa Cruz Festival, Bernal, Querétaro (May 4)

A UNESCO-recognized festival in the Magical Town of Bernal. Some 50 members of the indigenous Otomi-Chichimeca community form a long line up a large boulder and pass an 85-kilogram wooden cross almost 300 meters up to the top. There, the cross is returned to the small chapel it was taken from earlier in April.

Other events are arranged in Bernal to coincide with the ascent of the cross, including a marathon and a competition between artisan mask makers.

• Piña Güera Festival Weekend, Cozumel, Quintana Roo (May 5–8)

If your ideal weekend is spent relaxing in sun and sand by day and dancing the night away to electronica, pop, funk and soul, this DJ festival is for you. Taking place at two of Cozumel’s boutique hotels, Hotel B Unique and Hotel B Cozumel, tickets are for all-inclusive deals that include lodging, food and alcohol and activities like yoga classes, and for the more adventurous, daytime activities such as snorkeling and diving.

Tickets for 1- or 3-day admission are available. Find out how it works here, and buy tickets here.

• Pulso GNP Music Festival, Queretaro city, Queretaro (May 7)

If you’re interested more in rock, pop and indie than pure dance music, this one-day festival takes place at Queretaro’s old airfield. The lineup of Mexican and international acts includes Gorillaz, AfroBros, Cold War Kids, The Dears, Carla Morrison,  Natanael Cano and Akil Ammar, plus stand-up comedy performances by Michelle Rodríguez, Carlos Ballarta and Karla Camacho. The price is currently 1,500 pesos for general admission tickets and will go up as it gets closer to the concert.

You can also pay more to access special “Tecate Plus” tickets, giving you pit seating close to the main stages and other privileges. Handicapped accessible facilities, including the bathrooms, entrances and stage areas. See the lineup at the Pulso GNP site and buy tickets here.

• May Cultural Festival, Guadalajara/Zapopan/Santiago Tamazola, Jalisco (May 7–29)

The 25th year of Jalisco’s May Cultural Festival (FCM), largely taking place in theaters and venues in Guadalajara. Classical music concerts, interpretive dance, opera and modern theater with an abstract light show promise to keep people entertained.

Tickets for concerts range from 80–600 pesos (US $4–30) and can be purchased here. However, many events are free, including art exhibitions and organ concerts. Artists set to perform at the festival hail not only from Mexico but Ukraine, Denmark, Canada, Japan and the United States.

• Tamasopo Cross-Country Run, Tamasopo, San Luis Potosí (May 8)

A run in the countryside that includes some sizeable obstacles, such as rivers, waterfalls and sugarcane fields. The race begins in the central garden of Tamasopo, a town flush with waterfalls in the indigenous Huasteca region. Runners can opt to go five kilometers, 10 kilometers or the whole 21-kilometer distance.

Unfortunately, signups ended in March, but the festive atmosphere and surrounding natural beauty will undoubtedly be worth soaking up even as an observer.

• Ironman Monterrey, Monterrey, Nuevo León (May 8)

Swimming kicks off the competition in Mexico’s second largest city with a 1.9 kilometers paddle in the Santa Lucia Canal, an artificial river. Racers then mount bicycles to do two laps of a highway (90 kilometers) before three loops of a running track (21 kilometers), with the finish at the Macroplaza, home to the city’s Mexican History Museum.

Registration for the event is still available for US $400, which includes a swimming cap, backpack, food on the day and more.

• Volare hot air balloon festival, Orizaba, Veracruz (May 21)

This festival takes place near Mexico’s highest mountain with a musical lineup that includes Argentine rockers Babasónicos, tecnocumbia group Mi Banda el Mexicano and rock band El Gran Silencio. Tickets can be found here for 599 pesos (US $30) or 299 pesos (US $15) for children. Tickets include – subject to availability – a 15 meter ride 100 meters above the event in a hot air balloon.

• The National Festival of Cheese and Wine, Tequisquiepan, Querétaro (May 20–June 5)

Few things combine better than a selection of cheeses, and a few glasses of wine. 50,000 people are expected for the 42nd edition of the annual event which will take place in the magical town of Tequisquiepan on three consecutive weekends. Art and fashion exhibitions and concerts accompany the culinary offering.

Tickets to the event for a day are available for 250 pesos (US $12.50). This year Spain is invited to showcase the quality of its cheese and wine.

Heart of Mexico Wine Tours is offering a 3 day/4 night getaway for the festival that includes a hotel stay, admission to the festival, visits to wineries, wine and beer tasting and some meals included. Visit this link for more information.

• Born To Be Wine, near Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato (May 28)

The festival combines wine and food at the Cuna de Tierra vineyard, 12 kilometers outside of Dolores Hidalgo, before the DJs arrive for an all-out electronic music party.

Tickets are available here for 1,550 pesos (US $78). The tickets include a free bar and transport to and from San Miguel de Allende, where you can catch outbound transportation.

Dress code is described as “white picnic chic.”

Mexico News Daily

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