Like the swallows returning to Capistrano, the mariachis return to, well, Capistrano. The mission’s historic courtyard hosts the annual musical smack down called, provocatively, the Battle of the Mariachis. Dressed in embroidered, braided and silver-studded costumes, sombreros, and wielding violins, trumpets and guitars, the best mariachi ensembles from across the West compete for cash prizes and celebrate a musical tradition which began in Jalisco and continues, urging us to sing and not cry, ay ay ay ay, about our cielito lindo. For a little heaven, arrive early and eat—no kidding—great Mexican food! Be delighted, if also embarrassed about your lousy high school Spanish, as cute puppets perform a bilingual marionette show for you and the other kids.
Sat., May 12, 11 a.m., 2012