The 15th annual Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio kicks off its week of competitions, workshops, school and community performances Nov. 15-22.

The festival, which is the largest and longest-running mariachi event in the state, is capped off by a ticketed concert from the century-old ensemble Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan at the city's Municipal Auditorium on Nov. 21.

The Extravaganza has registered more than 1,000 mariachi school students and directors this year -- a slight increase over 2008, according to the Extravaganza's producer Cynthia Muñoz. Sponsors of the Extravaganza include Budweiser, Southwest Airlines, Goya, Azteca America's KVDF/San Antonio, the St. Anthony hotel and the city of San Antonio's cultural affairs office.

After the festival that carries its name, Mariachi Vargas will perform between 20 and 25 concerts in the United States in 2010, with 10 of them produced in theaters in Texas and Atlanta by Muñoz' company. An increase in sponsor commitments has allowed the ensemble to expand its Texas tour from five concerts this year to 10 next year, Muñoz tells Billboard.

For more information, visit mariachimusic.com.

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