The Mariachi USA festival at the Hollywood Bowl last week drew scores of acts and fans for a 4 1/2 -hour immersion in singing, dancing, fireworks and style. A casual, colorful vibe prevailed in the crowd (denim was de rigueur) and traditional touches spilled from the stage into the stands.
Of note: the hats. One standout appeared on Jose Alfredo Arreola of San Clemente, a singer who's embarking on his professional career at age 3 (and from the looks of it, taking it quite seriously). California's a great base for a budding mariachi, festival organizers say -- it's home to the largest collection of mariachi musicians outside of Mexico.