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Mariachi Festival

September 4, 2011

Last Sunday I got up at 7 a.m. to watch Tottenham get absolutely destroyed by Manchester City. Then I had to go to cover a parade in the rain. I was working on a Sunday morning and it was literally raining on my parade. Thankfully the rain didn’t last too long and things picked up afterwards. Here’s my write up for the paper:

Rain fails to dampen mariachi merriment

The mood was subdued among the rain-soaked crowd awaiting the inaugural parade of Guadalajara’s International Mariachi Festival on Sunday morning.

It felt as if the news of Thursday’s tragedy in Monterrey had taken the wind from the sails of the hundreds who lined the route along Avenida 16 de Septiembre.

At 10 a.m. Jalisco Governor Emilio Gonzalez briefly addressed the crowd gathered beside the Plaza de Armas, before cutting the ribbon to officially open the event.

In the end the weather failed to dampen the atmosphere, with both the rain and people’s spirits lifting shortly after the parade began.

Horsemen and women, acrobats, girls dancing in brightly colored traditional dress, men dancing with knives, and a charro performing rodeo-style tricks with a lasso all contributed to the spectacle.

The lively event was enhanced visually by machines giving off colored smoke and endless streams of confetti blasted above the passing floats.

But the most striking aspect was of course the music. Mariachis from as far afield as France, Sweden and the United States took part, alongside representatives from a host of Latin American nations including Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

They were joined by traditional groups from all over Mexico. The infectious sounds of the “Virgencita de Zapopan” mariachis went down particularly well, eliciting wild cheers from the largely family comprised audience.

After the parade Francisco Gouygou, or the “French charro” as he is known, expressed solidarity with the victims in Monterrery, before proclaiming, “Mexico has everything to be the greatest country in the world.”

I also shot and edited this short video for the paper’s website:

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