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Trio of pre-Mariachi Festival events in Calexico deemed hugh successes

May 16, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE

Staff Writer

CALEXICO — The first three events in the week of activities leading up to Saturday's Mariachi Festival Sin Fronteras here have been smashing successes, according to Calexico Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Hildy Carrillo-Rivera.

After a good number of businesses participated in Monday's decorating contest, Carrillo-Rivera said more than 200 people attended a carne asada barbecue Tuesday hosted by the MANA on the chamber grounds. MANA bought more than 450 tacos from Taco-Mex in Calexico for the event.

People from all over the Valley came to Calexico to participate, Carrillo-Rivera said.

" … El Centro, Brawley, Calexico and … yeah, Holtville," she said.

Danny Santillan of Calexico said the crowd grooved to tunes laid down by a DJ and drank beer in addition to polishing off 450 tacos.


"They were good tacos; good and it was free," he said.

On Wednesday Calexico's Soroptomist International chapter staged its annual wine-tasting fund raiser at Friendship Restaurant-Hollies Lounge. This event attracted around 300 people. The proceeds help the Soroptomists provide scholarships to women looking to go to college.

Inside the restaurant, women looked over jewelry and colorful scarves while sampling various different types of wine.

Out by the Quality Inn pool, the vast majority of attendees, some dressed in a mariachi-theme, mingled amicably.

Around 8:30 p.m., the program started. Susan Solis was named the chapter's Soroptomist of the Year and Tami Tamayo read a poem called "Alli es mi Tierra."

Then the Soroptomists took to the dance floor. All the people standing near the pool crowded to the rail separating the pool from the parking lot where the dance floor was set up.

With the people standing directly in front of the dance floor and the crowd at the rail, the Soroptomists had a good- sized receptive audience for their performances of "Las Chiapanecas" and "Jesusita en Chihuahua."

Dance instructor Rosa Lopez said "Las Chiapanecas" is a sassy yet elegant piece set to a marimba beat while "Jesusita en Chihuahua" is a mariachi-based number celebrating the Mexican revolution.

According to master of ceremonies John Moreno, Calexico High School vice principal, the ladies were received so kindly for their rendition of the classic dances that they will be taking their act on the road.

"Next week they are going to be at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas," he cracked.

Tonight the weeklong series of events associated with mariachi festival continues as Calexico dignitaries and California first lady Sharon Davis celebrate the city's 94th anniversary at a ceremony honoring Calexico pioneers.

On Friday a private dinner will be staged for festival sponsors at the Hotel de Anza.

On Saturday the Mariachi Festival will be in Crummett Park. For tickets call 357-1166.

Proceeds go to Imperial County's Raintree Quest Foundation, a non-profit organization that enables severely disabled and at-risk youth to participate in equestrian programs, among other charitable works.

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

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