When Chandler celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, it serves up the whole enchilada. The city's September calendar is chock-full of cultural events, from public proclamations and poster contests to a Hispanic author fair and family scrapbook day.
But the city's flashiest crowd-drawing event is its Mariachi Festival, held Sept. 13 at Chandler Center for the Arts.
The 10-year-old show is big on many of the things "norteamericanos" love about Mexican resort entertainment: colorful costumes, jaunty ditties punctuated by tinny brass and big-voiced serenades.
Headliners Mariachi Los Arrieros and Mariachi Divas will deliver it all. Los Arrieros is a 13-piece ensemble out of El Paso, Texas, returning for a fifth Chandler performance.
"They're really, really popular in our community. Chandler seems to love them," says Nachie Marquez, the city's communications director.
The Mariachi Divas are an all-female ensemble based in Los Angeles that, over the years, has included musicians of Mexican, Cuban, Samoan, Argentinian, Colombian, Panamanian, Puerto Rican, Swiss, Japanese, Honduran, Peruvian, Tongan and Anglo descent. Chandler's Miss Mariachi will also be crowned at the event. The pageant is another yearly nod to the city's Hispanic residents and founders.
10th annual Chandler Mariachi Festival
What: Mariachi groups and ballet folklorico dancers perform
When: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 13; show up earlier to buy authentic Mexican food fresh
Where: Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave.