Zapopan Centro is the place to be as the International Mariachi Festival draws to a close on Sunday, September 7.
Even those whose may not go to church much, or at all, will surely be moved by the strains of mariachi music echoing through Zapopan’s grand Basilica, as midday mass is celebrated in the religious edifice at the north end of the massive Plaza Juan Pablo II. Even the revered statue of the Virgin of Zapopan may shed a tear as she listens to the mournful sound of guitars, trumpets and voices break through the solemn proceedings. These mariachi masses have become a firm tradition of the festival.
Once mass is over, mariachis and other singers will gather in the Plaza Juan Pablo II, where at 3 p.m. they will try to set a new Guinness record for largest number of people singing together in harmony.
As the Sunday afternoon crowds begin to flock into the plaza, at around 5 p.m. mariachi bands will take the stage for the festival’s four-hour closing concert. Top billing will be given to the Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlan and, as an additional surprise, all-girl Mexican pop group Pandora (famous in the 1980s and 1990s for a string of hits) will also take the stage.
Those who like their entertainment a little grittier should head over to the finals of the National Charro Championship at the Lienzo Charro Nito Aceves in Tlajomulco. Sessions are held on Saturday, September 6 at noon, 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. and carry 50-peso fee. Sunday’s finals start at noon and 4 p.m. and cost 150 pesos.
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Thousands of Tapatios and visitors lined Guadalajara’s principal avenues for last Sunday’s International Mariachi Festival opening parade. Groups of musicians, dancers and charros of all ages came from far and wide to participate in the fiesta.
A young boy elegantly dressed charms the large crowd.
The emotional mariachi galas at the Degollado Theater kicked off with a special concert featuring Mexico’s most acclaimed tenor, the great Ramon Vargas.
Arts and crafts, including sombrero painting, went on in the festival’s pavilion set up in the city center.
More male and female mariachis playing during the parade.