Thousands turn up for Mexican teen's party after invite goes viral

Rubi Ibarra getting a major birthday lift at her party which drew 10,000 people - but not the 1.3 million who said they would show up. The small-town Mexican girl turned 15 in flamboyant style after her parents' video invitation to the milestone even
Rubi Ibarra getting a major birthday lift at her party which drew 10,000 people - but not the 1.3 million who said they would show up. The small-town Mexican girl turned 15 in flamboyant style after her parents' video invitation to the milestone event went viral.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

SAN LUIS POTOSI (Mexico) • A huge crowd turned out to celebrate the 15th birthday of Rubi Ibarra, a small-town Mexican girl - though it was fewer than the 1.3 million people who said they were coming after the invitation went viral.

Girls' 15th birthday parties are often a huge affair in Latin America, when families pull out all the stops to welcome them to womanhood. But Rubi's "quinceanera" party - held in a large field in Villa de Guadalupe in San Luis Potosi state - took the phenomenon to a whole new level after the invitation became an Internet sensation.

"Hi, how's it going? We would like to invite you this December 26 to our daughter Rubi Ibarra Garcia's 15th birthday party in La Joya," Rubi's father, Crescencio, said in the video invite.

Ticking off the names of the bands that would be playing at the party, he also announced a horse race with a prize of 10,000 pesos (S$700), as his wife and the now-famous Rubi stood at his side."Everyone" is invited, he said.

About 1.3 million Facebook users replied that they would attend the Boxing Day party originally set to be in La Joya, a village near the city of San Luis Potosi. "This all got out of control," Crescencio said in one of the many media interviews he has since been asked to give.

According to the BBC, the horse race that took place earlier in the day was marred by tragedy after a man was killed by a galloping horse. But the party itself drew about 10,000 partygoers of all ages.

Rubi, dressed in a bejewelled floral princess gown, danced the night away on a rock concert-style stage as journalists jostled to capture her every move. In keeping with tradition, Rubi also danced with the men of her family, receiving a rose from each. The evening also featured fireworks, a banquet sponsored by a food company and a concert broadcast on a giant screen.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 28, 2016, with the headline 'Thousands turn up for Mexican teen's party after invite goes viral'. Print Edition | Subscribe