The 53rd Fiestas de Octubre is approaching and if you’ve been to a state fair in the United States you’ll know roughly what to expect, although this city’s version has a distinctly Mexican flavor.
Guadalajara’s annual month-long fair grinds into life on Saturday, October 6 at its traditional site, the Benito Juarez Auditorium complex on the northern Periferico at Avenida Alcalde.
Open daily through Sunday, November 4, the fair serves up a mix of nightly entertainment (mainly popular Mexican artists), mechanical and children’s games, themed pavilions, special children’s shows and dozens of food and vendors’ booths. There are also late-night cockfights in the palenque arena, which always features top singing acts around midnight. Specialty pavilions (free entry) include the Canica Azul (science-based exhibits), World of Dinosaurs, the Circus of Horrors, a waxworks museum, a Peruvian Pavilion, Fantasy Forum, and the Ruta de Tequila, where one can learn all about the tequila-making process.. There’s also an ice rink for winter sports enthusiasts (an extra 40 pesos Monday-Thursday, 60 pesos Friday-Sunday).
The fiestas’ opening parade – with the theme “Myths and Legends of the World” – takes place in downtown Guadalajara on Saturday, October 6, 6:30 p.m. There will be dozens of creative floats, marching bands, clowns and acrobats. This year’s route begins on Avenida Javier Mina, at Calle 64, and runs all the way through the downtown area, along the Javier Mina/Juarez/Vallarta corridor to the Minerva Glorieta. The longer route will allow many more people to get a good view of the colorful parade. A fireworks display will follow the conclusion of the parade. Expect the procession to reach the Parque Rojo at Vallarta and Federalismo around 8:30 p.m.
The entry fee to the fiestas is 35 pesos for adults and 20 pesos for children. Gates open at midday. Two-for-one tickets are offered Mondays through Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Valet parking is available for an extra cost.
The free concerts begin around 7 p.m. each evening.