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The 16th annual Mariachi Northwest Festival drew packed crowds into

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The 16th annual Mariachi Northwest Festival drew packed crowds into the Wenatchee High School auditorium Friday and Saturday for performances by student and professional musicians and folkloric dancers. This year’s theme was “Pathways to College” and focused on the higher education benefits for students who play. Friday’s event was a showcase of students, while two benefit concerts on Saturday featured the student and professional talents of Mariachi Estrellas de Chula Vista under the direction of Mark Fogelquist, Bailadores de Bronce, Hermanos Barajas, Wenatchee’s Mariachi Huenachi, and headliner Sebastien de la Cruz, a 2012 America’s Got Talent finalist. As part of this year’s festival, Central Washington University was giving two $5,000 scholarships and Cashmere Valley Bank was giving two $500 scholarships to seniors who participated in the event.

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