EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – A livestock and agricultural fair is returning to Juarez after a 24-year hiatus, and border officials hope it becomes the next, great regional tourism attraction.
The Feria Expo Ganadera 2022 will run from Nov. 10-24 at the Juarez fairgrounds (the big red X), accompanied by performances by artists including Alejandro Fernandez, Flans, Danny Ocean and Mexican regional bands.
“Chihuahua leads Mexico in livestock production. We export nearly 700,000 head (of cattle) per year. We all want to raise cattle and be cowboys. It’s part of our DNA,” said Alvaro Bustillos Fuentes, president of the Chihuahua Regional Livestock Union. “This opens the door for us to further commercialize into the United States, states like Texas and New Mexico.”
Some 300,000 head of cattle pass through the Santa Teresa and Columbus, New Mexico, livestock crossings. Most are on their way to feedlots in Texas and New Mexico that profit from this trade; horses and other farm stock also pass through there, the New Mexico Border Authority reports.
Organizers say this is a family event presenting parents on both sides of the border an opportunity to help their children learn about an industry that is still going strong in this region. Mechanical rides will be an added draw for children, but the concerts are meant for a wider audience. A schedule of performers can be found here.
“This event has multiple goals. The first is to promote an agricultural and livestock industry that has a strong impact on the region’s economy,” said Mauricio Ibarra Ponce de Leon, Mexican consul general in El Paso, who is promoting the event on the U.S. side. “We also want to educate our youth about farming and ranching, and we want to promote tourism with first-class entertainers.”
Juarez is trying to kickstart its tourism industry after two years of COVID-19 restrictions and continuous reports of drug-related violence. Ibarra and Juarez Mayor Cruz Perez Cuellar said the last few major, massive events in Juarez – like the Juan Gabriel memorial festival and the summer’s Juarez Fair 2022 – went on without any public safety disruptions. Officials in El Paso also have been encouraging Americans to visit Juarez, while taking common-sense precautions.
For added safety, buses will be departing nightly to Juarez from the 400 block of Santa Fe Street in South El Paso and coming back at 2 a.m. Parking is available at the site, said Alfonso Deandar Duarte, president of the expo’s organizing committee.
A roundtable discussion between ranchers and officials from both sides of the border precedes the event. They will talk about sharing agrotechnology and recruiting young professionals to a centuries-old industry that has incorporated genetics, hydrology, and eco-friendly farming techniques to its processes.