Popular Juarez fair is likely victim of coronavirus pandemic on border

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Juarez mayor says he won't risk new outbreak if coronavirus pandemic isn't brought under control in next two months

A couple watches family members ride a ferris wheel at the Fiesta Juarez fair on October 2, 2016 in Juarez, Mexico. Juarez, formerly known as the “Murder Capital of Mexico,”, has rebounded, as violence has dropped in recent years. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — A year after setting attendance records, the wildly popular Juarez fair might be going into a hiatus.

The office of Juarez Mayor Armando Cabada confirmed on Tuesday that the fair (La Feria Juarez) likely won’t open this summer due to the possibility that it could ignite a serious COVID-19 outbreak.

The fair last year drew a record 400,000 binational visitors. The event is heavily promoted each year by chambers of commerce in El Paso and Juarez. It usually features carnival rides, dozens of food stands, arts and crafts vendors and, above all, bands and performers from Mexico and the United States. Bus rides are usually provided free of charge in El Paso for tourists wishing to check out the event.

“I have not officially (canceled it). I will do an analysis with the city manager because this is a very important event. We have done very well in the three years we have (run) this event,” Mayor Armando Cabada said Tuesday morning.

The fair was scheduled to start at the end of June and run for three to four weeks.

“I would have liked to have it in June, but we’re already in June and the (COVID-19) pandemic is going to stay with us for a couple more months. If that is the case, we should forget about the fair this year,” Cabada said in a “sidewalk” interview with reporters. Border Report has a recording of the interview.

The fair in the past has started as late as October. However, it takes time to book the performers and right now neither the city nor performers’ agents have an idea of when concerts can resume.

In this February 8, 2016. aerial photo, a giant sculpture known as La Equis or The X, casts its shadow on Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (AP file photo)

Cabada said the city usually invests $300,000 in putting on the fair. That money this year might go to renovations of the fairgrounds, which are located around the iconic giant red “X” near the Bridge of the Americas international bridge.

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