May 3, 2017, 6:46 AM
Ten pesos doesn't go very far these days. It won’t buy much entertainment, even in Mexico. Ten pesos wouldn’t take you far on a combi or won’t buy a meal at the market. Ten pesos may buy a cup of coffee or a coke, but not much else. You might get one shoe polished for ten pesos, but not the other.
The needy would love ten pesos, but who is made of money?
Fortunately, we are in luck.
Expo Feria Michoacan, The State Fair of Michoacan, has come to the rescue with great, cheap entertainment, with a 10 peso entrance fee. They named themselves “La Nueva Feria” and it really is a New Fair. Immaculate restrooms, new exhibition halls, gigantic fountains with dancing waters and colored lights at night, along with a variety of great, spotless restaurants. Sample the countless varieties of Micheladas, Michoacan’s OFFICIAL State Drink at the State Fair.
In the Mezcal exposition are about a dozen booths of the BEST mezcals in Michoacan. Free samples flowed like water. The flavored mezcals were popular and strawberry was my favorite. The cream mezcals reminded me of Oaxaca’s RomPope, blessedly made by the nuns. Give yourself a jolt with the coffee flavor, but save the green mint mezcal for last, to settle the stomach.
The booths had a variety of alcohol infused items, including a mezcal-blueberry jelly and other non-alcoholic marmalades. Also, look for Chiltic, 100% organic Jamaica form La Huacana. They also had organic Jamaica marmalades and marinated Jamaica, which I’ve been told makes great quesadillas. AND, of course, samples of everything.
The livestock section was huge and seeing the prizewinning animals is awesome. The Center Ring often has "Caballos Bailadores,” Dancing Horses, an exhibition not to be missed.
The Michoacan crafts section was superb, with artists/craftspeople from our favorite villages. There was a wide variety of crafts at very good prices. The best of the best artists in Michoacan were there.
The most popular booth at the fair, besides the Michcheladas, was for the Michoacan Drivers License. My friend got hers in about 30 minutes. It’s a big U-shaped table and you start at one end and slowly go around the table. My friend was at the entrance and was told that because she was from Patzcuaro, she couldn’t use this service, since it was the Morelia office there. A supervisor quickly reminded the clerk this was the Michoacan State Fair and NOT the Morelia State Fair. She continued around the “U” and ended with a laminated license, with a photo. We celebrated her success with a Michchelada.
Don’t skip the midway. Ride early and ride often. Kids of all ages will find a ride to scare the wee out of them.
Didn’t realize a body could be whirled around, upside down, in so many different ways. The Big Drop was a favorite, taking a doughnut platform up a high tower, holding it there until you think it’s broken, then drops it. Except, “drop” is really not the correct word: “SHOT-STRAIGHT-DOWN” is a better word. It doesn’t fall; it plummets to earth.
Next door is the TINY DROP. Same thing, but younger, smaller and slower. Still causing the same terrorized screams, but higher in pitch. Standing between the two was a cacophony of horror!
And, they could not be enjoying it more.
I saw cotton candy, pinker, but not taller, than the Texas Beehive hairdo’s of the 1960’s. There was every use of the hot dog I had seen, from Pigs in a Tortilla, hot dog omelets, to weenie pizzas.
The carnies were hawking their games, music blaring from every ride, lots of phone selfies and tons of fun everywhere.
From Morelia’s Periferico, take the airport cuota, with signs to Guadelejara and Mexico City and exit before the first pay booth, towards the new IMSS Hospital, across the street from Instalaciones de La Feria Regional. Turn left, into the Fair to park for 40 pesos. It’s close enough to run back with Mezcel and crafts purchases or to get the hat you forgot or return the coat you don’t need.
Here are some tips:
#1 Arrive early and park close to gate. Our 2:30pm arrival seemed fine.
#2 When you purchase your 10 peso ticket, add 60 pesos more for a RIDE TICKET. Yes, unlimited rides.
#3 Visit Mezcal building first. You will need extra courage for the midway rides.
#4 The rides get huge lines in evenings and at night. Ride early before the kids arrive and crowds start thickening.
#5 Check-out all the restaurants in the food area. Large variety of food available with complete menu/waitperson service.
#6 Take hat and wear comfortable shoes.
#7 The crowds attend the well-known band and music at night. By 6:30pm there were long lines at entrances. It seemed like a good time for us to leave. We were pooped.
#8 Last, but not least, be prepared for superb people-watching!
The fair began Friday, April 28 and is open until May 21, 2017. Located on the Charo highway, from the NE corner of Morelia.
Experience the Michoacan State Fair for the best 10 pesos you will ever spend.
Feliz viaje, David
The Michoacan Net
Supporting the Arts in Michoacan
(This post was edited by dmhaun on May 4, 2017, 4:03 PM)