Carlos Pacheco/Courtesy Photo

A bit of Mexican culture is coming to Cal Poly this weekend with a culmination of traditional music and celebration.

The second annual San Luis Obispo Mariachi Festival is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 in the Christopher Cohan Performing Arts Center (PAC), with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.

The roughly three-hour event will bring some of the most successful mariachi bands to Cal Poly, including Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jóse Hernàndez, Mariachi Los Toros and Mariachi Imperial Guadalajara. There will also be a performance by ranchera singer Ezequiel Peña and a presentation by Josue Hernandez.

Mariachi, a regional style of Mexican folk music, usually consists of a group of about 10 artists playing different instruments, according to event coordinator Carlos Pacheco.

The musical genre — dating back to 18th century Cocula, Jalisco Mexico — commonly revolves around dramatic themes including love, betrayal, death, politics, revolutionary heroes and animals, according to a San Luis Obispo Mariachi Fest press release.

“Mariachi culture is a tradition,” Pacheco said. “It represents Mexico in music.”

Renowned ranchera singers Peña and Hernandez will also be incorporated into the event. Peña is scheduled to perform ranchera music — which is closely associated with mariachi — and Hernandez is set to provide a presentation.

Based off last year’s sales, Pacheco expects this year’s mariachi festival to do well.

“Last year was sold out, so we’re expecting a very good crowd,” Pacheco said. “It’s the only mariachi festival in San Luis Obispo County, and it’s only once a year, so it’s very popular.”

Tickets for the event are available online at or by phone at 805-756-4849.

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