26th Annual Mariachi Festival “Sin Fronteras”

Mariachi Garibaldi performs at the Mariachi Festival in Calexico last Saturday night.

26th Annual Mariachi Festival “Sin Fronteras”

BY MARIO CONDE

Mariachi Garibaldi performs at the Mariachi Festival in Calexico last Saturday night.

The 26th Annual Mariachi Festival “Sin Fronteras” took place this past Saturday as the community enjoyed a mix of folkloric dancing and mariachi music.

The San Juan Diego Parish Hall was once again the venue for Calexico’s signature event that culminated a weeklong celebration and activities. The Mariachi Festival is an event that started in 1991 and has become an important event for Calexico. The event has grown over the years and has been headlined by big mariachi groups like Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan and Grammy Award winning Mariachi Divas that have attracted thousands of attendants over the years.

The Mariachi Festival tradition continued last week with a different event program but that was well received by the attendees.

The Mariachi Festival started on Monday with the coronation of Andrea Soto as Senorita Mariachi this year. The second day started the annual Mariachi Idol competition where people compete in a signing competition and the winner gets to perform that the main concert on Saturday. This year’s winner was Daniela Perez, 12, from Calipatria who was the youngest of all the participants and won the three day competition.

Daniela Perez (right) was the winner of this year’s Mariachi Idol contest and poses with Señorita Mariachi Andrea Soto.

Thursday was the annual Salsa Tasting competition where people prepare their best salsas and the panel of judges determines who wins. This year’s winner was Juan Inez Esparza of Calexico that won the best salsa.

Friday was the Tequila Tasting night where people enjoyed music and various tequilas that included Bacanora from Sonora, Mexico.

The big night arrived on Saturday, May 20, as Oscar Cruz, the winner of The Voice Mexico, came to the Mariachi Festival for the fourth year in a row. This time he came with his son Oscar Cruz Tellez who is starting a career in music as well. Father and son had a duet and Oscar Cruz sang for about 30 minutes that included the song that made win The Voice, Piano Man.

Aside from the music, there were also special performances like Grupo Neiwama, Ballet Folklorico Municipal de Naucalpan, and the main attraction of the night was Mariachi Garibaldi of Jaime Cuellar that brought their own folkloric dance group from Los Angeles.