The Quinceañera Expo, held Sunday at the Fairplex in Pomona, was one of the biggest expos of its kind in California featuring more than 100 vendors all under one roof.
A quinceañera is a Hispanic and Catholic coming of age celebration, when a girl symbolically becomes a woman at the age of 15.
It consists of a church ceremony where the girl makes a commitment to her faith, the ceremony is followed by an enormous party with friends and family.
Hundreds of expo attendees looked over the vendors offering their quinceañera services and products. Quinceañera dresses were a big draw.
Dresses on display had large skirts and rich colors. And some were covered in crystals.
“I do custom made dresses for quinceañeras for Pink Hostess and I have a line of my own,” said Diego Medel, a dress designer for Boutique Romano Banuz. “They’re all exclusive.”
“Each dress takes about a week to make and starts around $500 and goes up, depending on what is needed,” Medel said.
“I want a masquerade theme,” said 10-year-old Kaylie Mosqueda. “I like the masks and I want my dress to be purple. I want it to be long and flowing in the back.”
Still five years from the big day, Kaylie attended with her sister and mother to make connections and get ideas.
“I want a big poofy dress and I want the theme to be hot pink and white,” said Valerie Mosqueda, Kaylie’s 12-year-old sister.
“We’re starting early,” their mother, Theresa Rodriguez, said.
One service offered was for an entire experience at a ranch for the Quinceañera party to enjoy. Rancho Las Fuentes is a ranch site that offers anything a client could want.
“We did our homework for about a year and realized that this was the way to go,” Hector Vargas, owner of Rancho Las Fuentes said.
“If they get tired of the party, they can walk around the grounds or go by the fountain then come back,” said Vargas.
Vargas has been in business for about a year and said business is going well.
He even said that the night before he’d hosted a party for 400.
A quinceañera is a rite of passage, and the expo showed just how important it is to many young girls everywhere.
“I never had a quinceañera,” said Rodriguez. “But I want to make sure (my daughters) do.”
Erienne Rojas can be reached at email@example.com.