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Boyle Heights Street to be Named for Groundbreaking Ranchera Singer

The late groundbreaking ranchera singer Lucha Reyes will be honored Saturday when signs naming a stretch of a Boyle Heights street for her are unveiled.

Bailey Street between First Street and Pennsylvania Avenue — near Mariachi Plaza — will be designated as Avenida Lucha Reyes. The stretch of the street will also continue to be known as Bailey Street.

Born Maria de la Luz Flores Aceves in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1906, Reyes was one of the first women to be a lead singer in a mariachi band in an era when women were struggling for rights and mariachi music was widely viewed as a male-only pursuit.

Reyes would become known as “La Madre de la Cancion Ranchera,” the mother of ranchera music. She died in 1944.

The 3 p.m. ceremony at Mariachi Plaza unveiling the signs will be preceded at 1 p.m. by a free concert headlined by ranchero musician Ezequiel Pena. The concert will resume at 3:45 p.m.

“As an artist, Lucha Reyes had few equals,” said Councilman Jose Huizar, who introduced the motion calling for the street to be named in Reyes’ honor. “As a woman who forged her own trail in a male-dominated genre, she is an inspiration to this day.

“This dedication and concert is a reminder of Lucha Reyes’ contributions and a chance for the community to come together and celebrate her life and legacy as well as the improvements occurring in Boyle Heights.”

The Avenida Lucha Reyes designation is part of a $12 million streetscape improvement plan at Mariachi Plaza and along the Metro Gold Line and First Street arts corridor. Ongoing improvements include new sidewalks, trees, lighting, landscaping, art components and street