San Antonio in the Spotlight with 29th Annual Mariachi Extravaganza

San Antonio in the Spotlight with 29th Annual Mariachi ExtravaganzaSource: San Antonio Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center Official Website
Javi Gonzalez
Published on December 01, 2023

San Antonio City hosts the 29th annual Mariachi Extravaganza. This music festival, spanning from November 30 to December 2, is far from your average school band contest—it's an impassioned homage to the Latin music tradition, with a heavy dose of competition thrown in the mix. According to a KSAT report, a whopping one thousand mariachi musicians will strum it out at the revered Lila Cockrell Theatre.

Among the competitors, Harlandale High School’s mariachi group, one of the nearly 50 teams, prepares to take the stage. Efrain Alvarez, an 11th-grader and guitarron player from Harlandale High, said, “It makes me, like, really nervous, especially since they’re like three high schools from San Antonio. We want to show, like, what we can do to the rest of the Valley, you know?" as reported by KSAT.

The event also fosters a sense of community and promotes higher education, as posted on their official website. Alongside the traditional sounds and stunning trajes, they'll be vying for the prestige of sharing the stage with mariachi royalty, Mariachi Nuevo Tecalitlán. As Jack Hernandez, the Mariachi Director at Harlandale High, put it, competing in the Extravaganza means performing “on one of the biggest stages out there.”

Efrain Alvarez’s fellow high school musician, Alexandria Nieto, shared, "I’m the first person to be a mariachi in my family, but it was always, like, the thing for us. Like, if it was somebody’s birthday or we’re celebrating a game or something where there has to be mariachis playing. So it’s just like, makes my family proud to play," she told KSAT.

Tickets for the veritable fiesta of musical prowess can be snagged at the door of the Lila Cockrell Theatre or booked online for those meticulous planners. Those interested in attending can head to Ticketmaster or mariachimusic.com for more details on this cultural celebration.