- The city of Mérida celebrated its 457th birthday in 1999 by inaugurating a gleaming white cultural center located next door to the Palacio Municipal. Centro Cultural Olimpo is a beehive of activities ranging from theater, dance, and visual art to science, workshops and conferences. Families and science buffs will enjoy the many presentations at the planetarium, including Stars of the Night. On Tuesday evenings, aficionados of traditional Mexican song and visitors alike stop by for the free concert at 8:30 pm called Noche de Trova, held in the Auditorio Dr. Silvio Zavala Vallado. The Espacio Lúdico echoes with children's voices each Sunday as they participate in free visual arts activities. While the appearance of a late 20th century structure directly facing the historic Zócalo may seem jarring, the previous 18th century building had been allowed to deteriorate past the point of rescue when it was finally demolished in 1974.
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