Xela Fair has scope like none other in Guatemala

Xela’s annual feria came to a close the weekend of Sept. 17-18, and it was everything Guatemala has come to expect from the nation’s premiere Independence Day celebration.

Everything offered won’t be new to a traveler who’s at least trolled the occasional market: fruit and knick-knacks, dance troupes and shows, and carnival rides that may have been assembled with scrap wood.

What sets Xela’s apart is the sheer scope of it all: This is Vegas for someone used to pulling airport slots.

If you’ve mastered the coasters at your state fair back home, these will take you to a whole new level. Tickets buy you three times as much time upside down than you’re used to, so save the (surprisingly good) peanut smoothies until after.

The countdown for next year begins now, when Guatemalans from all over experience a unifying week of great tacos, endless shopping and the largest Ferris wheel you’ve ever seen.

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