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AP PHOTOS: Annual fair delights on Mexico City outskirts

TEXCOCO, Mexico (AP) — The multicolored lights of the mechanical rides cast a pastel glow on the evening sky, three children pose on the back of a Brahman bull, and a tuba blasts a Norteno beat as thousands of people enjoy the annual spring fair just east of Mexico City.

Now in its 34th year, the International Horse Fair, more commonly known as the Texcoco Fair, is among the most popular gatherings of its kind in the country.

Although it began as a celebration of horses, it now resembles many county or state fairs, with game booths, traditional foods, beer and musical performances.

In Mexico, these types of fairs date back to Spanish colonial times, and in many communities they are organized around the feast days of Roman Catholic saints. A few, such as the one in Texcoco, include major musical acts like Alfredo Rios, or “El Komander,” one of the best-known singers of the “Altered Movement” genre whose lyrics frequently focus on shootouts and killings.

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