The increase in positive COVID cases in San Miguel de Allende has led the city to take proactive measures for business and economic activities. Now, the national and patron saint festivities that take place every September and early October have also been impacted.
On August 12, the celebrations began with a procession led by a sculpture of Saint Michael the Archangel—the city’s patron saint—along with a traditional bull, donated by a rancher. On the day of the Fiesta Grande, which is celebrated by the Entrance of the Souls, the bull is slaughtered and fed to the dancers who participated in the procession. Small crosses represent the spirits of mayordomos—dance leaders who have passed away; with suchiles, offerings made from cucharilla leaves; and with native dancers.
This year, the Fiesta Grande is scheduled to take place the first weekend of October. However, Paulina Cadena, director of Culture and Traditions, has stated that it will not take place. All the other major festivities related to the War of Independence celebration—the Cry for Independence, Entrance of the Insurgents, Civic Acts, Formation of the First Independent City Council of Mexico, and Delivery of the Council—will take place in a representative form with reduced participation, and the events will be transmitted by digital networks. Interim Mayor Gonzalo González said that there will be no fair or People’s Theater.
Further, businesses that were operating at 100 percent capacity, such as hotels and restaurants, must reduce their capacity to 75 and 60 percent, respectively, and restaurant bar hours have been reduced by one hour, meaning they must be vacated at midnight. Regarding weddings, the number of attendees, including staff, has been reduced to 120 people in closed spaces, and 200 in open spaces.
The city has determined that the use of a mask in all public spaces remains mandatory, and has recommended, together with the health authority, to follow the health protocols. The Health Jurisdiction has indicated that the neighborhoods with the most infections remain Malanquín, San Rafael, Olimpo, Jardines, and Centro, among others.