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Man Killed at Viral Party in Mexico

  • VOA News
  • Associated Press

Rubi Ibarra arrives at the site of a Mass that is part of her down-home 15th birthday party, surrounded by a horde of journalists, in the village of La Joya, San Luis Potosi State, Mexico, Dec. 26, 2016.

A 66-year-old man died after he was trampled by horses during a party in rural Mexico attended by thousands of people. According to local media, another man was hospitalized with a broken leg after he also fell into the path of the horses.

The tragic accident occurred during a race that was part of a birthday party for a teenage girl. Her parents posted a video invitation to the party of Facebook but accidentally made it public. The video went viral, as people around the world reposted the video to Youtube and created internet memes about the event.

Thousands of people from across Mexico poured into the community of La Joya for the "quinceanera" celebration of Rubi Ibarra. The traditional coming-of-age party is similar to American "sweet sixteen" parties in which Mexican families often throw big, costly bashes for their daughters.

Rubi's party gained national and international notoriety in early December after a local event photographer posted on his Facebook page a video of the girl's father describing a down-home birthday party complete with food, local bands and horse races. In the video, cowboy hat-wearing Crescencio Ibarra haltingly but proudly describes the party and prizes, before announcing that "everyone is cordially invited."

Rubi's mother later explained that Crescencio had only been referring to everyone in the neighboring communities, not the world, but by then the video had been picked up dozens of times on Youtube and had been seen by millions, sparking tributes by musical stars, jokes and offers of sponsorships by companies.

Mexican airline Interjet published a promotion offering 30-percent discounts on flights to San Luis Potosi, under the slogan "Are you going to Rubi's party?"

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