For the second year in a row, Oaxaca’s Guelaguetza festival will not be held celebrated in-person. Rather, the ethnic heritage festival will be broadcast live on television and social media.
The festival celebrates the traditions of the indigenous people of Oaxaca, showcasing traditional garments, dances, music and food. The event normally draws tourists from around the world.
Last year, the event was broadcast in the form of edited highlights of previous events. This year will feature live transmissions for the first time, allowing participating delegations to present their dances without leaving their hometowns.
The festival programming, which runs throughout the month of July, also includes an exhibition of 50 Oaxacan paintings in an event called “Brushstrokes of Tradition.” One of the participating pieces will be selected as the official image of Guelaguetza 2021.
Despite the lack of an in-person festival, Oaxaca still expects many visitors this summer. Juan Carlos Rivera, state director of tourism, said that just in the period from August 9 to August 29, the state expects 325,000 tourists in its primary destinations. The visitors are expected to bring 1.4 billion pesos (US $70.4 million) in economic revenue.
Rivera also said that health safety measures will continue to be in effect, including social distancing and use of face masks.
“We want to reaffirm the greatness of life, to be present to celebrate Oaxaca and confront the pandemic with our heads held high,” Oaxaca Governor Alejandro Murat said.