Three Racine local organizations unite to present a two day Fiesta Mexicana in Racine, Wisconsin.
By H. Nelson Goodson
July 27, 2012
Racine – On Wednesday, Yolanda Adams, President and CEO of the Urban League of Racine/Kenosha announced that her organization, including the Emmaus Lutheran Church and the Hispanic Community & Resource Center of Racine have created a partnership to present and continue the yearly Fiesta Mexicana under new management. The two day event will take place on August 11-12, 2012 at the Racine Civic Center Festival Park, 5 Fifth Street in Racine, Wisconsin.
Food vendors, cultutal events and a variety of Mexican, Tejano, Peruvian and Salsa music will be provided at the festival grounds.
This year’s Fiesta Mexicana in Racine will feature a tribute to local Tejano bands and life long local Tejano musicians that have untimely passed away within the last three years. Adams says, the new organizers of the Fiesta will recognize the local talent in the area for their life long dedication to promote and keeping Tejano music alive through the years.
A special recognition will take place to remember, José Guadalupe Morales of Racine, Manuel Rivas of Milwaukee, Sammy and Manuel Avila of Milwaukee, Tommy Lugo of Chicago and others who have passed away, but had dedicated their lives and careers to promoting and playing Tejano music.
This year’s Fiesta will have an abundance of local talent, including five Mexican bands and five Tejano bands, Mexican DJ’s and eight Tejano DJ’s. Mariachis and folkloric dancers will also be showcased and a children’s area for the family will be provided at the event.
Fiesta organizers have also reserved the indoor Festival Park hall for bands and festivalgoers just in case they have a rain day.
This year’s festival organizers have made sure that all the bands, festival grounds and extra costs to present the event are paid in full, according to Adams, whose organization has taken the lead in organizing the August Fiesta event along with their two other partnerships. Fiesta organizers had actually began to organize the festival within a month ago or so, and hope to break even, if weather permits and can generate enough public support for the two day event.
For Adams, this year’s festival is definately paid for and any extra funds generated on the weekend Fiesta will be greatly appreciated and would be used to fund community programs offered by the three organizations sponsoring the Racine Fiesta event.
The new partnership created by the three organizations apparently took over the yearly festival that was operated as the Racine Fiesta Mexicana and sponsored by the Hispanic Business and Professional Association, Inc. (HBPA). Last March, Guadalupe “Wally” Rendon, Director of the Racine Fiesta Mexicana reported that the August festival had been canceled due to an incurred debt of about $29,000, but had actually paid $10,000 of it when the cancellation was reported.
Rendon blamed an independent promoter, Luis Enrique Martínez from L.E.M. Marketing and Productions in Milwaukee for trying to scam the Racine Fiesta Committee into investing more money then they had anticipated to contract musical groups. Martinez had promised in a package to present over 22 groups at the Fiesta Mexicana 2011, but days before the event Rendon noticed none would appear. Rendon and the Fiesta Mexicana Committee struggled to contract other groups for the three day event and absorbed most of the finances and incurred a debt.
Rendon confirmed, that the HBPA is planning to continue their own “Fiesta Mexicana” in 2013, but it won’t be at the lakefront Racine festival park. Last year’s debt kept HBPA from having their festival this August, but Rendon wished the Urban League of Racine/Kenosha and the two other groups luck on their two day fiesta.
The only difference between the two festival names is “La” to Fiesta Mexicana that was added by the Urban League for their August event. Rendon pointed out the difference in the festival names, but despite the similarities in the names, no copy right legal challenge is planned by HBPA, according to Rendon.
Rendon says, HBPA will actively continue to do fundraisers to pay their current $15,000 debt and will have a beer booth at the Milwaukee Mexican Fiesta 2012 during the three day event at the Summerfest grounds on August 24, 25 and the 26.
One thing for sure, by having two different Fiesta Mexicanas in Racine can only indicate one positive outlook, that Racine continues to absorb a rapid Mexican and Hispanic population growth as well as Latino economic growth associated with population growth, its needs and tourism during the summer Mexican festivals.
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