One Viral Invite, Thousands of Party Crashers at Quinceañera

One man was killed during a horse race at Rubi Ibarra Garcia's 15th birthday celebration
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2016 8:04 AM CST
Rubi and her parents before the big day.   (Facebook)

(Newser) – They braced themselves for the possibility of more than a million guests, but in the end, Rubi Ibarra Garcia's family only had to deal with thousands who showed up for the 15-year-old's birthday party in La Joya, Mexico. It all started when her dad, Crescencio Ibarra, put up a Facebook invite and video for Rubi's Dec. 26 quinceañera, originally intended just for family and friends—but he set the invite to "public" instead of "private," leading to at least 1.2 million RSVPs, People reports. But Ibarra took his online gaffe in stride and vowed not to turn away anyone who showed up, reports the BBC, and on Monday, there were dozens of tents and food-laden tables waiting for both expected guests and party crashers.

Monday afternoon, as the crowds flocked to what People called Rubi's "overwhelming" event, someone posting in the birthday girl's name wrote on Facebook: "Hello! To all those who have already arrived I ask you to please do not despair because in truth we are many people. … I am only asking for patience so that we can all enjoy this party which was made for you all." The BBC notes that the party seemed to largely go off without a hitch, though Ibarra seemed "exasperated" by the media at one point and warned he'd cut the party short if reporters didn't back away from his daughter, who was decked out in a fuchsia ruffled gown and tiara. There was one notably unexpected and tragic outcome: Ibarra had arranged for a horse race during the celebration, with a nearly $500 prize, and the owner of one of the horses was killed when he got too close to the galloping action. (Read more quinceaneras stories.)

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