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New Mexico State University

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Mariachi Conference to Draw Students, Music Lovers to Las Cruces

LAS CRUCES -- Thousands of music and dance students and fans -- plus some world-class performers -- will be in Las Cruces Nov. 12-15 for the fifth annual Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference.


"The Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference is growing into one of the most popular events of its kind anywhere," said Mike Cook with New Mexico State University's Rural Economic Development Through Tourism (REDTT) project.

REDTT, a project of NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service, promotes agriculture through tourism.

Conference events will be held at the Pan American Center on the New Mexico State University campus. Events will include mariachi music and folklorico dance workshops, a music and dance showcase concert featuring selected musicians and dancers from the workshops, Cook said. On Nov. 14, a concert will feature Pedro Fernandez, the popular recording star from Mexico and Mariachi Cobre, a mariachi music group. A Mariachi Mass will be held Nov. 15.

Young Park will be the site of the Parque Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 14-15. The festival will offer cultural foods, a Hispanic arts exhibit and sale, children's activities, Folklorico dancers and the sound of mariachis.

"Conference organizers expect more than 1,000 students to participate in the workshops and some 30,000 attendees at the various events," Cook said. "Last year, students came from as far away as Germany and Japan -- plus nine states in this country -- to learn the unique and beautiful music and dance of Mexico and the Southwest."

The fee for the educational music and dance workshops is $55 per person. The cost to attend the student music and dance concert is $8. Ticket prices for the spectacular concert, featuring Pedro Fernandez, range from $15 to $40. For tickets, call the NMSU ticket office at (505) 646-1420. For more information, contact the Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference at (505) 525-1735.

For information on this and other festivals, visit REDTT's new web site at: WWW.nmsu.edu/~redtt.