The five-event season began Feb. 26 and continues through May.
Fans young and old from both sides of the border flocked to see the opening event, which was made possible through the support of businessman Rafael Herrerias of Monumental Plaza México and Martin del Campo, organizer and owner of the Mexicali bullfights.
A small group held signs and protested citing animal cruelty outside the opening season bullfight in Mexicali in February, but about 5,000 people still attend each bullfight, organizers say, some out of first-time curiosity while others that have gone their whole lives.
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“I liked it, and I appreciate it,” said Michael Heaviside of Washington, D.C. “It’s not hard to get once you see it.”
Heaviside and his brother were retracing their grandfather’s steps by attending the Feb. 26 bullfight after seeing a photo of their grandfather attending one in Mexicali 50 years before.
The bullfight photo ended up inspiring the “great American road trip” the pair embarked on.
The bullfights continue at 3 p.m. Sunday as part of the 100th anniversary of the city of Mexicali with matadors Uriel “El Zapata” Moreno, Ferm¿ín Rivera and Joselito Adame performing.
Matadors donned in distinctive traditional clothing entered the ring Feb. 26 to begin the ritualistic process of a bullfight, which includes specific stages and roles by their assistants.
While bullfighting has history and various styles in numerous countries worldwide, it originated in Spain, and the Spanish style of bullfighting is the most common.
Fans erupted in applause and threw hats and even some shoes into the arena following the fight in Mexicali, and a smiling matador sailed them back into the stands.
Bullfight enthusiasts of all kinds lined up to have photos taken with matadors after the bullfights and to get their autographs, some even clutching bull dolls or wearing hats with bull horns.
Bullfights in Mexicali occur Sunday, April 22, May 13 and May 20. Tickets are 100 pesos or about $8, 150 pesos or about $12 in the shade with children 12 years and under entering free.
Tickets are available between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. in Plaza Calafia Fex box offices or in the Hotel Crowne Plaza. Call 686-558-6401 in Mexico for information.