A giant mosaic fashioned from tiny chaquira beads will be this year’s Guinness record attempt at the 25th Guadalajara International Mariachi Festival, running from August 20 to September 2.
Fifteen Wixáritari craftspeople from the Jalisco municipality of Mezquitic have been hard at work for the past two months painstakingly creating 81 one-square-meter tableaus that will be pieced together to form a 9x9-meter work of art. The design of the piece will reflect the festival’s logo.
Festival organizers (the Guadalajara Chamber of Commerce or Canaco) have splashed out 600,000 pesos for materials and to remunerate the artesanos. They expect to recover this amount, and more, when the tableaus are auctioned off through the Fundación Iyari Alba after the event.
Proceeds from the sale will be used to build a school in Mezquitic to benefit 70 children, Canaco says.
The mosaic will be mounted in the Plaza de la Liberación on Monday, August 20, 10 a.m., in the presence of Guinness record validators.
If all goes as planned, the mosaic will beat the existing record held by the New Orleans Carnival: a mosaic measuring 72 square meters.
Last year, the festival set a record for the tallest-ever paper mache statue.
The festival program will be much the same as in previous years, including gala concerts with top mariachi bands at the Teatro Degollado, Auditorio Telemx and Conjunto de las Artes. Free shows and verbenas populares (fiestas) are scheduled in the festival’s main pavilion in the Plaza de la Liberacion, as well as shopping malls and other public spaces. The closing concert will take place in the huge Plaza de las Americas facing the Zapopan Basilica.
Other popular events include the opening parade, set for Sunday, August 26, 10 a.m. on Avenida Chapultepec; mariachi masses in the Guadalajara Cathedral and Zapopan Basilica (August 26 and September 2); the National Charro (Mexican rodeo) Championship from August 23-26 and various workshops for mariachi musicians.
According to organizers, 20 international mariachi groups have confirmed they will be attending this year’s festival, including bands from Canada and Cuba.
For more information, see mariachi-jalisco.com.