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Families flock to Fiesta Cultura

November 05, 2001|By MARIO RENTERia, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — Imperial Valley families gathered Sunday for the Fiesta Cultura at Cattle Call Park, a day of Mexican food and culture and old-fashioned family entertainment.

Despite a muggy morning, families still came out for the annual event that is part of this year's 44th annual Brawley Cattle Call.

The event kicked off about 8 a.m. with a Mass conducted by St. Margaret Mary Church-Guadalupe of Brawley. Music was provided by a mariachi.

Cattle Call Queen Lindsay Taylor, First Princess Carly Slater and Second Princess Eleanor Nilson were at the event wearing their crowns and their smiles. The queen and her court presented prizes to the winners of the best salsa and best booth contests.

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The Brawley Police Activities League received $250 for its spicy salsa while the Noche Del Corrido booth coordinators received $100.

Juan Antunez was behind the Brawley PAL booth selling fish tacos along with the prize-winning salsa.

Antunez couldn't say what were the secret ingredients in the salsa but did say the recipe belongs to his friend Tony Verdugo.

"The event is great. We hoped for a bigger turnout but the event was still good," he added.

Miguel Miranda, candidate for the Brawley Union High School District Board of Trustees, was at the fiesta.

He said of the event, "It's an economic boost for the whole Valley."

"The event is very important because we have about 80 percent Hispanics. So we strive to have more Hispanic awareness via other cultures," he said.

"If anyone wants to learn about the Hispanic culture, this is the place to be," he added.

Ruben "Kiki" Garcia, president of the Brawley-based Hidalgo Society, acknowledged the event is a good fountain of knowledge of the Hispanic community.

"This is a great event for anyone and everyone in the community to learn about our culture," he said.

Alma Benavides co-chairwoman of Fiesta Cultura, helped coordinate the event for the third time.

She said despite some rain in the morning, Valley families still attended the fiesta.

She praised the sponsors for helping contributing to the fiesta.

The event may have reached its high point when a local band, Latin Breeze, took to the stage and played a variety of Latin music.

Couples danced on the small wooden dance floor while some women simply danced in their seats or in the arms of their significant others.

Older couples took to the dance floor and confirmed they can still dance like when they were younger.

Young children danced, not exactly smoothly, but they managed to bring laughter and applause from adults.

The last song Latin Breeze played was "Reflections," which it dedicated to all war veterans.

Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 337-3435.

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