BISBEE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Bisbee is a small, quaint and colorful town in southeastern Arizona that’s rich in history. If you haven’t checked it out, there’s an event coming up that gives you a great reason to hop in the car on Saturday, Nov. 5: The Bisbee Mariachi Festival.
Bisbee was once one of the state’s most bustling mining towns. By the early 1900s, Bisbee was actually the biggest city between St. Louis and San Francisco. That’s when mining was the heart of Bisbee, but when the mines closed, the town almost went dark. Now, one copper mine is an attraction.
“It’s about an hour tour and gives the people an insight of what went on underground,” said Bennie Scott, who used to work in the mine.
These days, the town is considered an upcoming tourist destination. In 2016, USA Today readers voted Bisbee the Best Historic Small Town in the country. That’s because there’s plenty to see and do. Today, it’s thriving with museums, restaurants and music venues.
And on Saturday, Nov. 5, the Bisbee Mariachi Festival takes place at Warren Ballpark, which is one of the nation’s oldest ballparks. Folks can spend the day experiencing a great lineup of mariachi groups and Folklorico dancers, bringing their talents to Bisbee from all around the Southwest.
It’s music with a purpose. The festival’s proceeds benefit the Bisbee Coalition for the Homeless.
“We help out anybody, we don’t turn anyone away,” said Tony Bedolla, the executive director of the Bisbee Coalition for the Homeless, the only non-profit shelter in town. “We get them engaged with behavioral health, counsel, we help them get employment, and permanent housing.”
Sadly, the shelter has seen an increase of people in need over the last few years. “In 2019, We provided 38,000 meals,” said Bedolla. “That has increased to 110,000.” So proceeds from the Mariachi Festival will play a huge role in helping the non-profit help more people.
The festival is more than just a fundraiser for the shelter and other non-profits in town. It also celebrates Dia De Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. And the community event pays tribute, honors and celebrates the people who worked in the mine.
For more information on tickets and performances, go to bisbeemariachifestival.com.
Copyright 2022 KTVK/KPHO. All rights reserved.