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Mariachi-themed decorations adorn Calexico businesses for festival contest

May 14, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE

Staff Writer

CALEXICO — With excitement building for Saturday's big mariachi concert here, Calexico business owners decked out their shops and employees in mariachi-themed decorations Monday to participate in a contest sponsored by the Calexico Chamber of Commerce.

And the winner is … First National Bank.

Chamber Executive Director Hildy Carrillo-Rivera said the staffers there won because "they turned their entire bank into a scene from a Mexican movie."

To capture the look and feel of a classic ranchero film, tellers were dressed in charro and charra outfits, carne asada tacos were served in the lobby and a live mariachi band and dancers entertained patrons.


Carrillo-Rivera singled out bank Vice President Aurora Rayon's outfit as especially worthy of praise.

"She was all decked out in a real beautiful suit, something out of ‘I Love Lucy,'" Carrillo-Rivera said.

Rayon said the win was the result of a total team effort by bank staffers.

"We wanted to stimulate the local economy and showcase some of the local talent of Calexico," she said.

She thanked the local groups who performed for the event; folklorico dancers Grupo Xochihuitl and mariachis Terra Caliente.

Then there was the food.

"Carne asada tacos, chips and guacamole," Rayon said.

Meanwhile, over at Apple Market Super Shopping, customers were literally dancing in the aisles.

Carrillo-Rivera said the market brought in a mariachi singer, who sang for patrons near the entrance to the store.

People who walked in started dancing and then everyone in the store was shuffling to the rhythm.

"Even the homeless guys out front were dancing," she said.

Apple Market-Super Shopping placed second in the contest.

In the honorable mention category, Carrillo-Rivera said Selwick's had its sales workers dressed up as beautiful Aztec princesses.

At Valley Independent Bank, even the security guard was dressed up.

Carrillo-Rivera thanked all the businesses that participated.

"They did a great job," she said.

In the contest for homeowners, Maggie and Gene Goff of Palm Street won for their decorations.

Mariachi festival week activities continue tonight at the chamber grounds at the corner of highways 111 and 98 when MANA hosts a carne asada plate and beverages party at 6 p.m..

At 7 p.m. Wednesday the local Soroptomist International chapter hosts its annual wine-tasting charity event at the Friendship Restaurant-Hollie's Lounge

Tickets for Saturday's Mariachi Festival Sin Fronteras at Crummett Park are still available. Call 357-1166 for more information. All proceeds from sales of tickets and official mariachi festival T-shirts go to Imperial County Raintree Quest Foundation, a charitable organization that helps the growth and development of disabled and special education children through equestrian programs.

This newspaper on Thursday will preview the various acts participating in the concert.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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