In July, events in San Miguel de Allende focus mostly on religious celebrations and film. The main event is the weather. Everyone seems to be outside, enjoying the long, warm days while waiting for the rain to begin—it usually starts by mid-afternoon.

July 16 – Fiesta of The Virgin of Carmen. A series of religious celebrations honoring the Virgen del Carmen continues into the month.

Third Sunday in July (movable) – The Fiesta of Atotonilco. The village, just seven miles from San Miguel, is site of a wildly colorful small church dating to the mid-1700s. Virtually every inch of the walls and ceiling of the church and chapels is covered with fresco paintings, giving it the nickname “Sistine Chapel of the Americas.” Scenes from the life and resurrection of Jesus mingle with saints and martyrs, angels, demons, flowers and fruits. So vivid and overpowering are these images, that I always feel as if the walls of the church are actually alive and dancing around me as I stand still.

Pilgrims come to the church from all over the state and beyond, many wearing colorful traditional costumes. Conchero dancers in their huge plumed headdresses perform, and the fiesta includes food, music and, of course, fireworks. This is my favorite July event in San Miguel de Allende. A visit to Atotonilco is an absolute must for visitors at any time of year, but if you’re in San Miguel in July, don’t miss this festival.

July 26 – Fiesta of Santa Ana (Saint Anne’s Day). The church next to the Biblioteca Pública is devoted to the mother of the Virgin Mary and grandmother of Christ. Special services for the saint’s day are held here.

July 30 – Anniversary of the death of Padre Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. Padre Hidalgo, a creole priest known as the Father of Mexican Independence, was shot to death in Chihuahua on this day in 1811.

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