Weeks after Crescencio Ibarra accidentally gave the internet reason to believe they were all welcome to his daughter’s quince in Villa de Guadalupe, the big day finally arrived on Monday. The party took on a life of its own after the video spread on social media. Originally a party meant for Rubí’s family and friends, the event spawned out of control and ended with an estimated 30,000 people in attendance.
The day began with just about 300 people going to mass with Rubí Ibarra García. Even then, the family felt frustrated, Animal Politico reports. As photographers and others tried to take pictures of the quinceañera, Rubí found it difficult to make her way through in her puffy pink dress. Intimate moments were hard to come by for the family, prompting Crescencio to ask for a moment of peace. “Stand down! We want the media to leave,” he said, according to El Universal. “We’re going to eat as a family, or we’ll be forced to leave.”
Not everyone who promised to make it to the quinces followed through. Univision points out that Marco Flores de la Banda Jerez is the only musician who made it out to La Joya. He traveled eight hours on a bus from Zacatecas to perform and deliver a stuffed animal to the teen. A party of this scope would have been impossible without the companies who provided tents, tables, and food. The town itself – which has fallen deeper into poverty in the last 15 years – could not have made such accommodations.
With the number of people who attended, Rubí looked visibly overwhelmed at times. At one point, she even admitted to feeling nervous. But it’s a day she likely won’t soon forget. San Blas’ controversial mayor, Hilario Ramírez Villanueva Layín, made a big scene when he arrived in a red car. He gave her a Chevrolet Spark Classic 2017 – decked out in white lettering that read “¡Felicidades Rubí! El Amigo Layin ¡Regalo!” – so that she could get to school. Ramírez, who previously admitted to stealing a little bit from the treasury, said he bought the car with his own money. Yet, he told reporters two different stories. To some, he said he paid for the car in cash with the money he makes as governor. To others, he said, he bought the car on credit.
San Luis Potosí Governor Juan Manual Carreras-López also arrived with gifts in hand. He gave Rubí books and a computer to help her with school. Up until last week, Villa de Guadalupe didn’t have connection to the internet. In anticipation for Mexico’s biggest party of the year, a company set up internet for La Joya. Because of the number of people trying to connect online during Rubí’s quinces, service was spotty. This led to many not learning about one of the most tragic moments of the party. At about 4 p.m., the scheduled horse race went horribly wrong. The lack of barrier between the crowd and the horses meant that Felix Peña ended up in the way of a galloping horses, which trampled and killed him.
Peña – who owned a horse in the race – believed that he’d win. “I’m not doing it for the [prize] money,” he said, according to CBS News. “I’m doing it for the fame and the glory.” He died on the way to the hospital. Another person was injured. Though the unfortunate incident made the rounds on the internet, not everyone at the party immediately knew that a man had died. The canceled race didn’t even register for some, because the venue quickly became the scene of a concert.
Los XV de Rubí were a reflection of the internet: fun at times, but also chaotic and frightening. Here’s what went down at los XV de Rubí: