Guadalajara’s month-long “State Fair,” the Fiestas de Octubre, kicks off Friday, October 3 but really gathers pace on Sunday, October 5 when the city center hosts the colorful annual parade.
The parade begins at 10 a.m. and will feature dozens of creative floats, marching bands, clowns and acrobats. This year’s theme is “Que Lindo es Jalisco.” The route runs from the Agua Azul Park along Avenida 16 de Septiembre and Alcalde to La Normal traffic circle.
With the Fiestas soon scheduled to move to a new site, this may be one of the last years that the annual shebang graces the aging Benito Juarez Auditorium complex on the northern Periferico (intersection with Av. Alcalde).
Open daily through November 3, the fair serves up the usual mix of nightly entertainment (mainly popular Mexican bands and singers), mechanical and children’s games, themed pavilions, special children’s shows, and dozens of food and vendors’ booths. A special attraction this year is a special exhibit of models inspired by the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci – featured in the July 11 edition of this newspaper.
There are also late-night cockfights in the palenque arena, which always feature top singing acts around midnight. Among this year’s artists are Luis Miguel (October 9, 10, 11, 12), Juan Gabriel (October 24, 25) and famed norteño band Tigres del Norte (October 30).
The entry fee to the fiestas is 30 pesos for adults and 15 pesos for children. Specials are offered from Monday to Wednesday: Mondays, adults half price and children free; Tuesdays: students and pensioners with INAPAM cards enter free; Wednesdays: two for one.
Gates at the Benito Juarez open at midday. The free concerts begin around 7 p.m, each evening. Valet parking is available, as well as on nearby streets, although patrons are advised that householders will demand a fee from visitors to leave their cars outside their homes.
The city center also hosts free open-air performances in the Plaza Fundadores behind the Teatro Degollado (starting 7 p.m.), the annual stone masonry contest in the Plaza de la Liberacion (it runs throughout the month), and the Salon de Octubre, a state-wide art competition, at the Ex-Convento del Carmen.