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Merida Fest enters final week, on track to boast 100,000 visitors

Anniversary celebration enters final week

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For MeridaFest, singer Marcela Ortiz and the Basque Tata Orchestra of Santa Fe de la Laguna perform at the Plaza Grande. Photo: Courtesy

Merida Fest appears on its way to capturing and captivating more than 100,000 spectators.

The celebration of Merida’s 477th anniversary began Jan. 5 and ends Jan. 27. In its first week alone, about 40,000 people enjoyed free music and theater events around the city.

For second week, which just ended, the city expects to count another 40,000 people, many attracted by the musical group Cañaveral, said Irving Berlín Villafana, the cultural director.

(See the city’s website for the final week’s events.)

He said that if the audience continues at this rate, Merida Fest could exceed 100,000 spectators, because unlike Noche Blanca, which concentrates all the events in the Centro Historico for a few hours, Merida Fest hosts regional theater and popular dances throughout the city.

“A few days ago we had a show that brought together more than 1,500 people in parque de la Alemán,” said Berlin Viillafana, adding that the quality of the shows is more important than the size of the crowds.

Merida Fest begins with traditional Yucatecan trova, but takes on a multicultural approach throughout. Organizers honor the region’s Mayan, Lebanese, Chinese and Korean connections, among others, said Berlin Villafana.

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