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Chicxulub cancels huge annual festival honoring its patron saint

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Chicxulub Puerto is losing a popular August holiday as local officials attempt to discourage crowds and the spread of coronavirus.

For the first time in decades, Chicxulub Puerto will not celebrate the Virgen de la Asunción Poderosa, one of the most important coastal festivals of the summer. The flotilla, religious processions, performances and even the popular fair in the main park are all canceled this year.

Commissioner Carlos Macedonio León Zapata said the reaction from workers and merchants most economically impacted by the decision has been calm.

The importance of containing the ongoing pandemic has not been lost on organizers. As of Sunday, 162 coronavirus cases have been detected in Progreso, which includes Chicxulub.

The Virgin Mary is Chicxulub Puerto’s patron saint. To the faithful, the Assumption is the bodily taking up of Mary into heaven at the end of her earthly life. Observing the occasion is a major feast day in the Catholic Church every Aug. 15

In 2019, the festival lasted nearly a month and included live music, folk dances and religious procession, with the saint’s likeness carried on several men’s shoulders, leading to the beach where about 60 boats awaited.

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