The Feria de San Marcos is just one of the reasons Aguascalientes won't fade from your memory. This vibrant mix of traditional roots and modern artistic expressions is a sure way to get up close and personal with “deep Mexico”: with rodeo-style shows, crafts stalls and exhibitions, traditional food and cock fighting in the afternoons, by night the city is literally buzzing with Mariachi brass. In recent years –as it has become increasingly popular with young people and tourists– the feria has taken on a more modern character, so mixed in with traditional provincial fare you'll find performances of pop, rock, grupera and other contemporary music.
Organized in honor of the San Marcos neighborhood Saint, the feria takes place the last two weeks in April and the first two weeks in May. During the feria, you can wander between its main sites in the San Marcos Garden, the San Marcos Temple, the Bullring, the Municipal Theater, and San Marcos Island –ideal for a family day out, the latter is especially good if you're bringing the children along.
Whether you're staying for a long weekend or hoping to enjoy more of the feria, this 23-day party is a hive of activity throughout: boredom is out of the question. Whether you fancy watching some horse racing or traditional bullfighting –complete with internationally-renowned matadors–, or taking in the more leisurely aspects of the feria such as the local crafts displays, food stalls and restaurants, there's plenty to do for the curious and intrepid visitor. If you've come for the music, the Municipal Theater is the place to head for: hosting rock, pop and grupera artists, in addition to more famous names, such as Lila Downs, Tania Libertad and El Tri, among others.
As well as a visit to San Marcos Island, if you're coming as a family, you can also enjoy some of the many dance and music shows, fairground rides and other typical carnival activities. Just to mix things up, every year, the Feria de San Marcos welcomes two guests of honor, one country and one Mexican state, giving them the chance to put the best of their culture on show in exhibitions, stands and other traditional activities.
The feria's nightlife is hectic, and you'll be able to choose from a variety of exciting options: nightclubs, bars, restaurants and cantinas stay open until late at night, so you can while away the small hours in the good company of locals and visitors. After your revels have ended, you can be sure of a good night's rest in one of Aguascalientes' many hotels. There are rooms to fit all budgets, but we advise you to book well in advance as hotels tend to fill up quickly in the run-up to the feria.