Mariachi Festival: Thousands gather in Boyle Heights for 30th annual celebration

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019
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Thousands gathered in Boyle Heights for the annual Mariachi Festival and celebration for Saint Cecilia, patroness of all musicians.

BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- With instruments in their hands and faith in their tunes, mariachis played in procession to honor Saint Cecilia.

"I would say that faith is part of our teachings and our roots," said Arturo Ramirez, one of the organizers for the 30th annual Mariachi Festival and Saint Cecilia Celebration. "She is the patroness of all the musicians, and all of this that we do is nothing more than a tribute for her."

This yearly event brings in high talent. This year's headliner was Mariachi Vargas of Tecalitlan from Mexico.

"We are the first mariachi plaza in the United States," said Ramirez. "That I also consider a second Garibaldi and how I call it a little piece of Mexico."

Throughout the day, over 3,000 musicians were expected to gather at this plaza from all over the country and from nearby Garfield High School.

"It's awesome to be here today representing my culture and being here with my friends from school," said Guillermo Gonzalez, a senior at Garfield High and member of the student mariachi group.

Many also gathered for a mass that took place on the main stage.

"You just get chills listening to all of these mariachis," said Grace Riesgo, a resident of Los Angeles.

Mariachis performed from noon to past 10 p.m.

"It makes you feel proud to be Mexican American." Terry Meza, a resident of Alhambra.