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ROSARITO BEACH - Rosarito Mariachi Divas' FestivalAttracts 1,500

The Oct. 2 seaside concert by the Grammy-winning Mariachi Divas attracted 800 people with 700 more attending weekend competitions between music and dance groups from the U.S. and Mexico.

As well as being what many consider one of the best concerts ever presented in the city, the event on the grounds of the Rosarito Beach Hotel raised $5,000 toward the construction of Rosarito's $1.3 million Boys and Girls Club. Other income went for the sound system, lighting and other expenses for the spetacular.

"The Divas and all the headliners said they are definitely coming back, as well as the competitors," said Boys & Girls Club President Rosy Torres. "We already are looking at possible dates for next year."

"The biggest profit was the fabulous publicity and awareness to all of the club coming into town and needing help. It was a beautiful cultural and touristic event. We couldn't have done it without the support of the community."

Gil Sperry, a Rosarito resident and author of the book Mariachi For Gringos, modeled the event after similar "Espectaculars" in the U.S. He also was able to get the 12-member Los Angeles-based Divas to perform their first public concert in Mexico.

"It surely was one of the finest events Rosarito has had," said Mayor Hugo Torres. "It was enjoyable to see so many outstanding musicians, young performers and international support and participation."

The combination of the great music, seaside setting --- with a VIP area, tables and bleachers --- and perfect nighttime weather made the Saturday night concert a huge hit with locals and out-of-area visitors.

"The Rosarito event was awesome!" said Genaro Rascon of Tucson. "All I keep hearing from the different mariachi who attended is that we wish it were longer."

Added Edward Marsch of Escondido: "I applauded 'til my hands were numb. What a fabulous Espectacular! We couldn't have asked for more."

The Divas, who won the Grammy in 2009 and are led by Cindy Shea, performed a two-hour show that ranged from traditional mariachi music to their version of "La Bamba" to even a Motown classic," My Guy."

Maya, Timoteo: El Charro Negro, Olga Flores, Folklorico Ixtlazihuatl, Genesis, and Beto Jimenez Maeda also performed.

The Saturday and Sunday beachfront spectacular on the grounds of the Rosarito Beach Hotel featured both mariachi and folkloric ballet competitions from 10 to 3 each day with groups from junior high through college age from both countries.

Junior high and high school competition was Saturday; university and open on Sunday. U.S. competitors included groups from Chula Vista, Anaheim and Tucson.

Details on the Rosarito Girls & Boys Club are available at
Info provided by Rosarito Town Crier

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