Festivals and Events

Guanajuato—both the city and the state—plays host to a wide number of artistic, cultural and sporting events that attract crowds of visitors every year, many of them the most important of their kind not just in Mexico, but in Latin America, such as the annual Cervantes International Arts Festival. There are also countless local festivals and feast days featuring processions, fireworks and street food all year round.

Below is a list just some of the events you can experience throughout the year.

January: The cultural year begins with the León Fair. One of largest in the country, it runs through the whole of January into the first middle of February, attracting up to five million visitors every year with its fairground rides, food halls, commercial and industrial expos and concerts from both Mexican and internationally renowned musical stars.

March - In spring, international sport comes to Guanajuato in the form of Rally Mexico. One of the stages in FIA World Rally Championship, the rally route goes right through heart of historic downtown Guanajuato, attracting thousands of spectators.

April  - This month sees the celebration of the Guanajuato Medieval Festival, a three-day feast of knights, jugglers, jousts and parading bagpipers, while the nearby town of Mineral de Pozos welcomes musicians from all over the world to participate in its International Mariachi Festival.

May - The “Guanajuato sí sabe” food festival is a two-week event involving premier chefs from all over the world who come together to offer everything from Michellin-starred cuisine to the finest examples of local traditional cooking. In addition, the town of San Miguel de Allende makes its own gastronomic contribution with its Born to be Wine festival.

June - Fiestas de San Juan y La Presa de la Olla.  In mid-June, La Presa de la Olla, the reservoir that used to provide much of the capital’s water and is still a major tourist attraction, opens its sluice gates, and the town throws a party to celebrate. As the feast of Saint John is on June 24, instead of holding two celebrations, the fiesta keeps going for two whole weeks. Also in June is the Irapuato Strawberry Festival. Every year along the roads of the state you can see hundreds of stalls, stores and street vendors selling the fruit, jams and candies. Irapuato calls itself “World Strawberry Capital”

 

Opening of the Presa de la Olla

July - In July, the city holds one of Mexico’s most important film festivals, the Guanajuato International Film Festival. The same month sees the San Miguel Chamber Music Festival The largest of its kind in the country, the festival brings together musicians and artists from all over the world.

September - September 16 is Mexican Independence Day, and the day that the town of Dolores Hidalgo comes into its own. On the night of the 16th, the central square of every town in Mexico sees the reenactment of the moment when national hero Father Miguel Hidalgo gave the “Cry of Independence” and set in motion the struggle for independence from the Spanish, but Dolores is the “Cradle” of that independence” and its celebrations have their own unique authenticity.

Also in September, Dolores holds its Festival de la Vendima, a celebration of the grape harvest involving gastronomic and cultural events.

October - Every October since 1972, Guanajuato has staged the most important cultural event in both Mexico and Latin America as a whole: The Cervantes International Arts Festival, more familiarly known as the “Cervantino”.

For three whole weeks, Guanajuato plays host to artistic events involving artists from all over the world, with a huge range to choose from, including opera, dance, theater, popular music, visual arts, cinema, literature and multimedia events, workshops, exhibitions and conferences.

November - November sees the International Jazz & Blues Festival in San Miguel, the International José Alfredo Jiménez Festival in Dolores Hidalgo and the International Hot Air Balloon Festival in Léon.

December - The year comes to its conclusion in San Miguel de Allende with a celebration of Mexican wine and the cuisine of Guanajuato with a tasting of the region’s wines and a sampling of both traditional and gourmet dishes from the area.