For 52 years the people from the Azuero Peninsula and beyond have flocked to the Feria Internacional de Azuero. This year the fair takes place from April 3 to April 13 and yesterday SU and I decided to go take a look.
It cost the mere price of $6.00 for the two of us (or $3.00 if SU hadn’t shown his Jubliado Residency Card but then handed the girl at the wicket $6.00) we entered through the gates. The fair is located in a permanent, fenced park in Los Santos that is about 18 acres big. There are some permanent structures in the park, small stores and government offices mostly but there is a rhyme and a reason about how everything is laid out.
Even though the fairgrounds are open from 7:00 am to 2:00 am, when we arrived at a little after 11:00 it appeared as if the park was just opening for the day. When we left at almost 1:00 there were still a lot of venues and booths that were still not open. There was one side of the park devoted to rides typically found at fairs. We gathered that things get into full swing later in the afternoon and evening when the kids are out of school and people are finished work. This year the fair expects to entertain about 300,000 people because they’ve opened over two weekends instead of just one.
The fair is mostly an agricultural fair, with a lot of booths selling handmade furniture, crafts and of course many booths full of cheap toys for the kids. SU and I were talking about it after we arrived back home, there was so much furniture at the fair, some of it quite beautiful, that we couldn’t imagine how they could sell all of it or what they would do with it all. But maybe this is the time of year that Panamanians are shopping for that kind of stuff.
There were beautiful livestock, big bulls being groomed and brown cows with soft eyes being watered at big tubs. There were also rabbits and chickens and booths selling feed, pumps, tractors and milking machines.
There were some ponies being walked around and they came to rest in the shade. They were lovely little animals and we were offered a ride for $2.00 which we politely declined.
We entered through the side gate there was a big vegetable garden with all sorts of veggies and fruits growing and a demonstration of hydroponic lettuce set up. The garden was very well-kept and mulched with rice hulls to keep it neat and tidy.
We were most interested in seeing if there were any different plants or herbs available for sale. We did end up buying some lily tubers and a couple of other plants that we were assured would grow well in the full sun. The lilies are Amaryllis of all different colors and for $2.00 a tuber we’re willing to give them a try, especially if they spread.
As the temperatures started to climb I for one was pretty hot and tired and as we got into the car I pointed out to SU that the temperature was 35°. He said that it would go down as we started driving. It didn’t, it climbed to 36°. All in all it was an interesting experience and we had a good two hours at the fair, in the campo.
Visit some other fairs!