JUAREZ, Mexico (Border Report) – Nearly 100,000 people attended the opening weekend of La Feria Juarez 2023, which could shatter attendance records because of a longer run spread across two venues.
“We had a very successful start, everything went well, and we will continue to be vigilant so that everything continues to go well,” said Juarez Mayor Cruz Perez Cuellar.
This will be the longest fair to date, running over seven weeks. The first four weeks take place at Plaza de la Mexicanidad – the traditional fairgrounds characterized by the “Big Red X” structure that can be seen from Interstate 10 in El Paso.
Once events conclude on June 18 at the big Red X, the fair moves to an alternate location in South Juarez from June 23 to July 9. The locale at the intersection of Avenida de las Torres and Palacio de Mitla is about a quarter mile south of Walmart Torres Sur.
City officials decided on the two-venue format given the growth of the city (1.5 million people as of the 2020 census) and so residents in southside neighborhoods don’t feel obligated to travel to the northside.
The fair last year drew around 400,000 visitors from Juarez, El Paso, and other cities. The city sponsors the event but leases the entertainment to private entrepreneurs. Perez Cuellar said this year’s expected $230,000 take for the city government will be spent on aid programs for the elderly.
This weekend’s performers include Academia talent show winner Carlos Rivera and Edinburg, Texas-based band Grupo Frontera. Saturday’s headliner is Gerardo Ortiz, a Mexican regional music singer who made international headlines because of his 2016 arrest at the Guadalajara airport. It was triggered by a controversial music video in which the protagonist finds his girlfriend with another man, shoots the man, places the woman in the trunk of a car, and sets it on fire.
You can see the full list of performers here. Entrance to the fair itself is 70 pesos (US$4).