Saturday Marks University's 'Fiesta de Mariachi 2000'

The stirring sounds of mariachi music will be celebrated Saturday at Texas A&M International University's Fiesta de Mariachi 2000, from 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

The second annual outdoor festival will take place on the University's Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library Plaza and features over a dozen high school bands from throughout the region in a one-day competition. Admission is free.

University president Dr. Charles Jennett said the event offers the University a chance to highlight the artistic tradition of regional mariachi music.

"Fiesta de Mariachi 2000 offers us an opportunity to celebrate the popular art form of Mariachi Music. This is our second year for this event and we encourage people to join us for a truly joyful presentation," Dr. Jennett said.

Jennett said Mariachi music is now a part of A&M International traditions with the launch of the University's own Mariachi Internacional.

"Our Mariachi Internacional debuted at this year's Twilight Pops-WBCA Concert and proved quite popular. We're looking forwarding to showcasing their efforts upon completion of Phase III's Fine and Performing Arts Center," he explained.

First, second and third place awards, as well as sectional awards will be vied for by Fiesta de Mariachi 2000 participants.

Event organizer Betty Momayezi, executive director of student life, said Fiesta-goers may want to bring lawn chairs to enjoy the outdoor festival atmosphere.

"We'll have student groups running food concessions as fundraisers for their projects and we're aiming to create an overall fun, family atmosphere," she said.

Coolers and alcoholic beverages will not be permitted.

Among high school groups currently scheduled to participate in the event are: Cigarroa High School, Eagle Pass High School, Eagle Pass-CC Winn Campus, Martin High School, McAllen Independent School District, Miller High School (Corpus Christi), Premont High School, Roma High School, United High School and United South High School.

For additional information on "Fiesta de Mariachi 2000," contact the University's Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at 326.2180.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu