The Tex Mex Festival 2010 held in conjunction with Cinco de Mayo and hosted at Globe’s Community Center did not have a shortage of great entertainment during the two day event.
From Javier Reynoso’s performance with his dancing horses, to the powerful performances by three Mariachi bands from Phoenix and Tucson, the colorful and well executed dancing of Ballet Folklorico tenochtitlan, the latin sound of New Frequency and, of course the two headlining bands: Tierra and Little Joe Y Familia, those in attendance were treated to terrific performances!
As the City’s first big scale event in which they partnered with Los Vecinos De Companeros to put up the $32,000 for the headliner bands, and covered the costs of staging and managing a large scale event they showed it could be done.
Matt Jankowski, Parks and Recreation Manager, and his team did a commendable job of setting up a large-scale facility at the Community Center. If thousands had shown up this weekend they could easily have been accommodated at this facility. As it was, only hundreds attended the events both days with the majority of the crowds showing up for the bands – despite very low temperatures and high winds.
That is a risk of staging large outdoor events.
Mother Nature isn’t always on board with your plans. Last April/May at this time, we had 70deg weather and clear skies.
One of the event attendees for Saturday’s Little Joe Y Familia event was surprised at the small crowd, but wondered if the huge protests against Arizona’s immigration bill which were being held in Phoenix and Tucson, could have been a contributing cause for the low numbers. “I know several of my friends who were going to spend the weekend in Globe, decided it was more important to show their support for the protests.”
And, then there is the aspect of change.
The City and Los Vecinos de Companeros took the local celebration of Cinco de Mayo which had been held in downtown Globe for free and re-designed it into a large-scale event with the hopes it would actually bring in money to both the City and LVC. Billed as a Tex-Mex Festival the target audience appeared to shift from down-home to outta-town.
There was some local push back to the Event which many felt was an over-reach for the community. Some felt the ticket prices were too high: $30 day/$50 for two days. Some felt Tex-Mex didn’t represent ‘their kind of music, or festival. Some just felt the show was for out of towners – not locals.
Yet, watching the performances during both days, visitors must have been struck by the variety of performances and the mix of traditional with contemporary expressions of Mexican culture. From the rhythym and blues sounds of Tierra on Friday night to the rich violins and voices of Mariachi Sol Azteca, the sounds of what it is to be Hispanic were showcased by some outstanding musical talent. From the Reynoso’s who showcased their horses and roping talent to the wonderful performances by Ballet Foklorico tenochititlan the rich history – which is Mexico- was well represented!
The presentation of the La Reina de Las Flores Queens and Contestants occurred under clear skies and each of the ladies are to be commended for their achievements and performance at Saturday’s event.
Talking to Globe’s Mayor, Fernando Shipley, about what he might do differently next year, he said he would begin the Festival on Saturday, since people are working on Friday and most can’t even think of showing up until they get off work.
There are other considerations which will surely be a part of the wrap up discussion regarding better signage, more advertising outside the area and coordination with local merchants, but this should not take away from the fact that many things went right with this event.
Globe proved that we do have an excellent “staging area” for a truly large-scale event and we have the people who can pull it off. Had the crowds been larger, an event of this type can bring in money and become a well-recognized asset for this community. It can be an event which smoozes locals and outta-towners alike and celebrates the Mexican culture which is not just one thing – but a huge melting pot of many expressions. It can be an event for all. And that would be something worth celebrating.
Writer, photographer. Passionate foodie, lover of good books and storytelling. Lives in Globe. Plays in the historic district. Travels when possible.