De la Guerra Mercado organizer Laura Abrignani announces bands, food booths, and vendors would be back this year. | Credit: Courtesy

After revealing the return of live dance and music to Fiesta 2021 last week, Stephanie Petlow, La Presidenta for Old Spanish Days, announced at De la Guerra Plaza on Monday that the traditional mercado there would return this August 4-7.

Laura Abrignani, who is organizing the mercado, said bands, food, and merchants would be back as before, including the nonprofits for whom the mercado is an important part of their annual fundraising. Petlow added that some vendors and nonprofits had participated for 30 or 40 years, and that Old Spanish Days was pleased they could help them raise funds in what has been a very tough year for them. The MacKenzie Park mercado and the Friday afternoon historical parade were things they hoped to bring back next year, Petlow said.

Maria Cabrera, whom emcee David Bolton introduced as La Primera Vice Presidenta in charge of logistical everything, explained that they’d been calling vendors since last Monday: “Every one said, yes, they wanted to come back!” she exclaimed. Ordinarily, they’d begin planning the mercados in January, she said, but this year, with the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, they were still nailing down the permits, acquiring permission for the mercado in writing just this afternoon.

She’d been thinking about the big Fiesta parade all week, Cabrera said, trying to come up with a route along Cabrillo Boulevard, maybe one that went to Milpas Street. But she hadn’t yet figured out how to get all the permitting and parking issues resolved, she said. Bolton added that parking for 100,000 visitors was a real challenge, not to mention returning the horses and carriages back to their trailers at the beginning of the parade route.

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