San Francisco

Lowriders Cruise Through San Francisco in Tribute to Late Music Icon Selena

People drove from across Northern California to attend the event in the city's Mission District

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On Saturday in San Francisco’s Mission District, hundreds of lowrider cars inched their way through the streets as onlookers admired the cars. The San Francisco LowRider Council hosted the cruise to pay tribute to late singer Selena Quintanilla.

“Anything for Selenas!” laughed Lupita Zapien who drove from Modesto to attend.  “The Selena cruise tonight, we gotta come to celebrate!”

Selena was known as the “Queen of Tejano Music” and was a rising star when she was murdered in 1995.

“I listened to Selena ever since I was a little girl,” Zapien explained. “With her death and everything it was a huge tragedy and it hit everybody really hard.”

Many cars were blasting hits like "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom" and "El Chico del Apartamento 512" from their speakers as they drove down Mission Street on the sunny spring day.

“We love her, we just love her,” San Mateo resident Gabriel Ortiz said of Selena. Ortiz said his kids, who joined him for a ride in the lowrider, are big Selena fans too.

If Selena were still alive, she would be turning 52 on April 16.

Lupita Zapien said she believes that if Selena were alive today, she would be “bigger than J-Lo” in terms of popularity.

"Just to remember her and have so many people come out and remember her ... out here cruising and making an event for her, that’s just something really big, you know?” Zapien said.

Gabriela Garcia of Sacramento agreed. Garcia drove out from Sacramento to join Zapien for the lowrider event.

“There’s nothing like the lowrider community: the scene, the people, the food the cars, just everything,” Garcia said.

For some attendees, this day of cruising was also about carrying on a tradition.

Pablo Garcia, who said he grew up in the Mission decades ago, felt this event took him back to his roots.

“Looking at the low riders, I used to see this when I was growing up,” he said.

Pablo Garcia and his friends described cruising down the streets as “a big stress relief.”

“There used to be a lot more cruising back in the days,” Garcia said.

His friend chimed in, “It used to be every Friday and Saturday night.”

The weather was perfect for a drive, many attendees said this was the first time in a while they’d gone cruising like this.

“It’s beautiful to see our people come together, you know for something special,” said  Gabriel Ortiz of San Mateo.

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