Happenings: Feria del Mariachi

Annual festival celebrates music
of Mexico, young performers

Photo of mariachi ensemble

Texas State’s Mariachi Nueva Generación will perform at the Feria del Mariachi concert March 23.

By Audrey Webb

The origin of the word mariachi has been the source of some debate. Some linguists believe it comes from the French word mariage (marriage), while others claim its origin is in the name of the wood commonly used for dance floors in Mexican dance halls. If you want to know the true meaning of mariachi, we suggest you leave the lingo wrangling to the historians and just attend this weekend’s 14th annual Feria del Mariachi.

The two-day music festival includes a competition on Friday, March 22, at 7 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center. Ensembles from colleges and universities, high schools and middle schools across the southwest will have five to ten minutes to impress a panel of judges. Admission to watch the competition is free.

A final concert caps the event on Saturday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Convention Center, 1001 E. McCarty Lane, in San Marcos. The finale will showcase competition winners PLUS special guest artists. Among the entertainers will be 10-year-old Sebastien De La Cruz, who blazed his way into the hearts of listeners across the country during the 2012 season of “America’s Got Talent,” and Mariachi Las Alteñas, an all-female mariachi band from San Antonio.

Tickets for the final concert (just $10 for students) are available online. And that means great entertainment and an incredible cultural experience for as much as you’d spend at a movie. No debate about that!

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