Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza festival takes over San Antonio's Lila Cockrell Theatre this weekend

click to enlarge Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán will perform at Saturday's concert. - Courtesy of Mariachi Vargas Extavaganza
Courtesy of Mariachi Vargas Extavaganza
Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán will perform at Saturday's concert.
As the largest and longest-running mariachi festival in Texas, the annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza’s mission is to preserve and promote mariachi history, culture and tradition through exceptional performances, workshops and competitions.

When it comes to mariachi music, it’s hard to think of a more storied ambassador than the world-renowned, Mexico City-based Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán. Founded in 1898 and spanning six generations, Mariachi Vargas is one of the world’s leading educators on the art form.

The group’s San Antonio extravaganza culminates with a concert Saturday night, but there are plenty of events taking place during the entire weekend, including student workshops and vocal, mariachi and songwriting competitions. The event attracts more than 1,000 mariachi students from across the country, and it’s the only one judged by Mariachi Vargas themselves.

“It’s a huge honor to perform in front of members of Mariachi Vargas and have the opportunity to open for the group in concert as winners,” said Eloy Garza, director of six-time champion Mariachi Nuevo Santander from Roma High School in Roma, Texas.

$46-$206, various times Friday, Dec. 3 and Saturday, Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 4 (main concert), Lila Cockrell Theatre, 200 E Market St., (210) 207-8500,

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