This year’s colorful Piñatafest is going to be big, according to organizer Christie Mann. After all, 30 years of celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Mexico with music, food and fun should be celebrated. Mann is the Hispano Chamber of Commerce president.
The fest takes place this weekend from Friday to Sunday on the courthouse grounds on North Main Street.
“Piñatafest is a three-day cultural event that we host every year,” Mann said. “This year, it’s going to be our 30th anniversary, so we are going to put it up a little bigger than we normally do. We are going to close Main Street from Fourth to Fifth streets.”
The closure has a reason. Besides having the usual intimate stage at the Chaves County Courthouse, there will have a large main stage.
“The main stage is for our larger entertainers and, of course, the courthouse stage is for a more intimate setting. Some of those things like the Folklorico dancers should be a little closer to get that crowd interaction,” Mann said.
“Additionally, this year we’re going to utilize Pioneer Plaza to the fullest,” she said. “On one side it is going to have inflatable jumpers of different kinds. They are also bringing a miniature golf course. On the other side there will be the pony rides and the gyro.”
The plaza is across the street from the courthouse.
Gyro is short for human powered gyroscope. Originally, it was invented to train pilots and later astronauts. It was also used as an exercise workout in gyms. Its purpose was to control and build muscles, training to react and function in three-dimensional movements. Today, it’s seen more and more at amusement parks, fairs and festivals.
There will also be many other entertainment booths, such as booths for children to do art and crafts and a half pike for skaters to demonstrate their sport.
This year, a record number of more than 60 vendors and food booths have signed up to be part of the historic event.
“It’ll be lots and lots of fun,” Mann said. “Of course, our festival is very music-based. We are going to have music going on throughout the event. We have our regular favorites, local favorites like Groupo Maldad and we got Homegrown coming. This year’s biggest entertainer is Adolfo Urias y su Lobo Norteño, who have family ties in Roswell. They are very well-known. That is the reason why we close the street because having them on stage, we’re going to have overflow.
“Our local Folklorico dancers had another event that they had already booked,” she said. “So, I bring the New Folklorico dancers down from Albuquerque. They are called Baila! Baila! It’s going to be super entertaining, on the same line on what we usually bring.”
Israela M. Garcia of the Baila! Baila! Dance Academy explained the group’s extensive references.
“We specialize in the art of traditional Mexican folk dance. Baila! Baila! was founded in January of 1990 and has been spreading love for (Mexican) culture through music and dance for over 27 years,” Garcia said in an email. “In addition to offering dance lessons in New Mexico for children as young as 2 years old, Baila! Baila! has entertained countless guests at various events ranging from Church Fiestas — one of our personal favorites — to events as prestigious as the Autumn Dance Festival at Carnegie Hall in New York City and the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.”
According to Mann, there are many more events planned.
“Way Way Off-Broadway Theatre Company is going to be reading the story of La Llorona,” Mann said. “They are going to have children and a little skit to go along with it.”
Favorites are returning, such as taco and jalapeño eating contests and the piñata break.
“We have two scheduled piñata breaks, but we’ll certainly do more throughout the event. They (the children) absolutely love it. They didn’t have a break two years ago, but had it again last year. They had so much fun,” Mann said.
Music styles will be various with a focus on Hispanic music. There will be a large selection of music with bands coming from Mexico and New Mexico.
On Sunday, the day starts with an opening prayer, a Color Guard presenting the colors. More information was not available at press time.
New this year are two social media outlets for the fest. The public is invited to join in the fun on Snapchat and Instagram.
“If you tag the Piñatafest on Snapchat, we can promote different things,” Mann said.
For more information, visit the Facebook event page or call the Hispano Chamber of Commerce at 575-624-0889.
Friday, Sept. 15 — Main stage
6 to 7 p.m.* Consentidos
7:15 to 8:15 p.m.* Grupo Maldad
8:30 to 10 p.m.* Frequenzia
Saturday, Sept. 16
10 to 11 a.m. Vintage Brew
11 to 11:30 a.m. Zumba
11:30 to 11:45 a.m. Piñata break
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mocochochets
12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. Alien Evolution
1 to 2 p.m. Gaviota Reyna del Sur y sus Divas
2 to 2:30 p.m. Baila! Baila!
2:30 to 3 p.m. Way Way Off-Broadway Theatre company presents La Llorona
3 to 3:15 p.m. Piñata break
3:15 to 4:15 p.m.* Evoluzion
4:15 to 5:15 p.m.* Mocochochets
5:15 to 5:45 p.m. Jalapeño and taco eating contest
5:45 to 6:45 p.m.* Palmares
7 to 8:15 p.m.* Tropicalisimo Apache
8:30 to 10 p.m.* Adolfo Urias y su Lobo Norteño
Sunday, Sept. 17
10 to 10:30 a.m. Color Guard and opening prayer
10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Cactus Flowers
11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Tularosa Basin
1 to 2 p.m.* Homegrown
2:15 to 3:15 p.m.* Culpa Norteña
* Main stage entertainment
Times and locations are subject to change. For an updated schedule, visit the Roswell Hispano Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.