Merida Fest 2019 marks the 477th anniversary of the city with 140 events, 650 artists and 56 venues, with special guests from Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Japan, China and Spain.
Willie Colón, the Nuyorican salsa star and social activist, and Quebec’s circus company Cirque Alfonse, are among the marquee entertainers.
The festival begins late Saturday, Jan. 5 and lasts until Sunday, Jan. 27.
The lineup was announced live on Facebook.
Mayor Renán Barrera Concha announced the program’s theme, “Los rostros de la ciudad” (“The Faces of the City”).
The announcement, presented in the brand-new Paseo 60 complex, brought to light several details:
The event kicks off just before midnight with a traditional callejoneada, or trova stroll, at the city hall. Hundreds of singers will serenade the city with “Las Mañanitas,” with fireworks to follow.
The inaugural concert is the next day, Sunday, Jan. 6. This “Tributo a Mérida” on the Plaza Grande will bring together artists including Armando Manzanero and Rodrigo de la Cadena with Alicia González, Noam Ritner, Flor Amargo and Cacho Medina.
Among the other activities will be theater, dance, music, fashion shows, art exhibits and gastronomic events.
With this festival, the city fulfills its commitment to highlight values through multicultural dialogue while honoring exemplary Meridanos, said Barrera Concha.
“We are a combination of cultures: Cuban, Lebanese, Spanish and there lies the beauty of this festival, which responds to that diversity and is celebrated in unity,” the mayor said.
The festival is meant to not only appeal to all ages, but to introduce new sights and sounds to different generations.
“This is a way to bring young people to the trova, because the trova can not remain a museum and the inaugural concert is a sample of it. This music is transformed, but always with respect,” said Barrera Concha.
The presentation of the Mérida Fest program was attended by Nora Pérez Pech and Fausto Sánchez López, members of the Committee on Culture; Eduardo Seijo Solís, director of Economic Development and Tourism; Fernando Faz Rodríguez, head of the Programming and Festivals department representing the Ministry of Culture and the Arts of the State of Yucatán; and Víctor Abraham Palomo, proprietary partner of Paseo 60.