San Jose's Mexican Heritage Plaza, the largest multi-cultural arts center for Latinos on the West Coast, has announced major changes for its Mariachi Festival - the largest in California and the second largest in the United States.
After years of holding the Festival in mid-July, it was announced that the 2006 edition would take place October 3-8. This allowed the festival to avoid competing with the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament and the San Jose Grand Prix, and allow Festival attendees to enjoy more temperate weather. In 2005, the outdoor temperature topped 103 degrees, negatively affecting turnout.
The Festival will include a co-headlining concert by Juan Gabriel and Linda Ronstadt, performing together in a traditional Mariachi setting for the first time ever. Also included in 2006's program will be "Mostly Mariachi," a concert featuring Latin rock and pop artists whose roots are in Mariachi but whose music crosses generational and cultural divides. More details are forthcoming.