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Mariachi band serenades vaccine line in Las Vegas

Mariachi music echoed through Cashman Center as Cristina Lopez and her bandmates played for people lined up for COVID-19 vaccine.

“When it comes to mariachi music, we just like to have everyone happy,” Lopez said while the band, Mariachi Nuestra Raices, took a break Saturday afternoon.

Jon Klassen, a spokesman for the Cashman Center vaccination site, said he started scheduling musicians on Saturdays to give performers a chance to play live again.

“The artists really need to get back to work,” Klassen said while the band played in the background.

Klassen said Saturday was about the fourth time musicians had played at the Cashman Center during a vaccine clinic, and he plans to host more frequent performances starting in late April. Before the mariachi band played Saturday, a group from the Henderson Symphony Orchestra performed for people waiting to get the shot.

Lopez, 21, said she and her five bandmates have played together since high school. Lopez played the violin with two others, along with a violist, trumpeter and guitarist.

“They’re actually surprised,” Lopez said about the reactions from people waiting. “They’re like, ‘Wow you guys are actually here; I didn’t expect any performers.’”

It took about an hour for people to get shots on Saturday, Klassen said. After getting the vaccine, people waited for 15 minutes to make sure they didn’t have a severe reaction, while Lopez and her band sang in front of a tip jar.

According to data from the Department of Health and Human Services last updated Friday, 932,949 people in Nevada have had at least one dose of the vaccine, which is about 37.8 percent of all Nevadans 16 and older.

Oscar Navarrete, who got his second vaccine dose on Saturday, said it was relaxing to listen to the mariachi music during the wait. Now that the vaccine is available to everyone 16 and older, Navarrete said he hopes more people will sign up to get a shot.

“I feel safe right now,” he said after getting his second dose.

Klassen said the music will hopefully make the process of getting vaccinated easier and entertaining.

“We’re just doing our part to get things back to normal,” he said.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-2040. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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