March 10 marks the date of the seventh annual International Mariachi Festival and Competition, held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Chula Vista’s Bayside Park. The event is a celebration of San Diego’s Mexican heritage with mariachi music and competitions, vendor booths, samplings of Mexican culture, arts and culinary offerings.
“We outgrew our location,” said Jacqueline L. Reynoso of the National City Chamber of Commerce. The event has moved to Chula Vista, originally held at National City’s Pepper Park, but is still organized by the National City Chamber, which is partnering with the Port of Diego to stage the festival. The festival costs an estimated $200,000 to produce.
However, before the event the National City Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the University of San Diego’s lecturer and mariachi ensemble director Serafin Paredes to lead and organize the mariachi workshop and conference, scheduled for March 8-9.
“The mariachi workshops take place March 8-9. We already have 150 registered and we expect to have 200 [people], ages 8 to 70s,” said Paredes. “The majority of students come from our local schools — Sweetwater High, Otay Ranch High, Chula Vista High, San Ysidro High to name a few. We also get students from Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Oxnard, New Mexico and Texas.”
“One of the most popular songs they learn when they first start learning mariachi music is a song called ‘Los Barandales del Puente,’” he said. “It’s a beautiful and easy piece to learn for all the instruments because it has a pattern that repeats over and over. They also learn easy rancheras such as ‘Tu Solo Tu,’ ‘Cielito Lindo,’ ‘Volver, Volver’ to name a few.”
“The mariachi outfits (trajes de charro) have to be made by a tailor to specially fit each student,” he said. “Some mariachi instructors order them from Los Angeles, Texas,
Guadalajara, Mexico, and Tijuana.”
The student showcase will be March 8 at 6:30 p.m. and the concert performance will be March 9 at 6:30 p.m. on campus.
Paredes band, Mariachi Juvenil de San Diego, performs at 3 p.m. at the bayfront festival on March 10.
The Mexican state of Jalisco is reportedly where mariachi music originated in the town of Cocula, in the 19th century. A distinct version of violins, harp and guitar arising out of the Spanish theatrical orchestra style.
The University of San Diego is located at 5998 Alcala Park in San Diego. Visit www.mariachifest.com for more information.
For links to the concerts visit: www.eventbrite .com/e/usd-mariachi-showcase-2019-opening-concert-tickets-54999927263.
Visit the National City Chamber of Commerce’s website for registration information.
This year the March 10th event added green zone. Vendor booths, jumpers, food, face painting, pony rides, live art, artisan exhibits, a mariachi inspired fashion show, and much more will make up Bayfront’s line-up.
Chula Vista’s Bayside Park is located at 999 Bayside Parkway, Chula Vista, CA 91910. The National City Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Port of San Diego to produce the event. Kids are free, early bird pricing is $5, and the VIP package is $50 which includes 3 drink tickets, food, special seating at stages, and photo opportunities while supplies last.
Tickets are also available on Eventbrite.