HARLINGEN — “Guadalajara, Guadalara!”
Mariachi Margarita last night began the city of Harlingen’s 8th annual Mexico Independence Day Celebration in grand fashion. The event at the Harlingen Municipal Auditorium drew a sizeable crowd of more than 200 people.
Cassandra Consiglio, director of the Harlingen Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, said the celebration commemorated the 209th anniversary of Mexican independence.
Everyone stood for the presentation of colors by the Harlingen Police Department, followed immediately by the playing of the National Anthem. All looked at the U.S. and Texas flags with hands over hearts in solemn respect.
Consiglio then welcomed Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell to the stand.
“The city of Harlingen salutes Mexican Independence as a fine chapter in Mexico’s history and its role in the fabric of our community’s foundation,” Boswell said.
Fittingly, Boswell delivered his speech in both English and Spanish.
“It’s important that our community recognizes and understands the cultural background,” he said. “I am grateful we have volunteer citizens who organized this event.”
Mariachi Margarita from Brownsville stepped onto the stage in their strapping black costumes, positioning themselves in perfect form. Suddenly erupting from their stringed instruments was a lively ensemble of sounds made even more powerful by the players’ rich vocals. A soloist stepped out in dramatic fashion and sent a bold falsetto note sailing across the audience.
People in the audience clapped and whistled as the group moved easily into an exciting rendition of “Mexico Lindo y Querido.”
“It brings a lot of memories,” said Lucia Montalbano, 69. “I’ve lived in the United States for 50 years and it still touches me, the Mexican music, the mariachi.”
Soon after, another group of young men and women, Telpochcalli Grupo Foklorico, stepped out and performed. Juan Carlos Cue Vega, the Mexican consul in Brownsville, delivered a powerful “Grito de Independencia.” Escolta de Bandera Mexicana finished the show.