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Rubi Ibarra Garcia and her parents. (YouTube)

The more the merrier

Thousands attend girl’s birthday in Mexico after invitation goes viral

By WITW Staff on December 27, 2016

Thousands of people flocked to the birthday party of a 15-year-old Mexican girl after an invitation to the event went viral.

According to the BBC, dozens of tents and tables of food were set up to accommodate the guests of Rubi Ibarra Garcia’s quinceanera, a traditional coming-of-age party that marks a child’s 15th year. Rubi, who wore a tiara and a vibrant pink dress, had to push through a scrum of reporters on her way to a Mass held during the party.

Earlier this month, Rubi’s father posted a video online announcing the celebration, and declared that “everyone is welcome” to attend. He promised that the event would feature local bands, food, and a horse race with a prize of 10,000 pesos (about $490).

Crescencio Ibarra later told news outlets that he had only intended to extend an invitation to people in neighboring communities. But thanks to the mysterious workings of the internet, the video spread across social media, was viewed millions of times, and became something of a national joke.

Memes abounded online, with internet users making fake fliers for the party and publishing photos of massive crowds heading to the event. Actor Gael Garcia Bernal made a parody of the original video, and singer Luis Antonio Lopez “El Mimoso” composed a song for Rubi, according to the Guardian. The Mexican airline Interjet began offering a 30% discount on flights to the state of San Luis Potosi, where Rubi and her family live, under the slogan “Are you going to Rubi’s party?”

About 1.2 million people RSVP’d to the event on social media, and thousands turned up on the day of the party. Though authorities were dispatched to ensure the event went smoothly, a man was reportedly killed when he stepped in front of a horse during the races.

Read more at the BBC.