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Our Opinion: Cattle Call kudos

November 13, 2001

Cattle Call week, more than anything else, is a summoning.

The week of events summons Imperial Valleyites to come out of their summer hibernation — it's the reverse here from most places — and start having outdoor fun again, start having carne asadas, start throwing the Frisbee to the dog. It tells visitors and former residents that it is OK to visit again, that they won't spontaneously combust if they come to the Imperial Valley, at least not for the next several months.

As much fun as all the official events are, starting with Cattle Call Chili Cook-Off and ending with the third performance of the rodeo on Sunday afternoon, it is the private parties, the get-togethers, the old friends running into old friends that makes Cattle Call special. And as for the private parties and get-togethers, we saw and experienced some doozies this year.

Those who put on both the private and public events should be saluted. We need more good times in the Valley, and Cattle Call Week is a week chock full of good times. It is not easy to organize events well, but everything came off during Cattle Call week without a visible hitch. The week's events also filled local motels, restaurants and nightclubs with patrons, pumping much-needed money into the community, particularly the Northend.

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Cattle Call has long been a cowboy-oriented event and with a huge beef-processing plant set to open in Brawley next month, we don't expect that to change much. Still, we are happy to see Cattle Call taking on more of a Hispanic flavor, too, particularly in a town and a Valley that is more than 70 percent Hispanic.

While Cattle Call has to retain much of its traditional flavor to remain the event it is, it must change with the times and the people. This year we had the mariachi night, which has become a Cattle Call tradition, the second annual Noche del Corrido, and the return of East L.A. rockers/cumbia kings The Blazers. More and more Cattle Call truly reflects our area. (We still wait anxiously for the day when we will have a Hispanic Cattle Call queen, though.)

The controversies that have plagued Cattle Call in recent years have not taken away the luster of the events. Cattle Call is often thought of as the Valley's best week, and this year's events only enhanced that reputation.

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