Thursday, August 14, 2008

American Fiesta Amistad ...

... Festival of Friendship.
Here in Othello, we have a population of 70 to 80 percent Hispanic, depending on the time of year when heads are counted. Unlike many places, the people here are very tolerant of each other and, in fact, there are some very deep friendships between the Hispanics and Anglos.
One way the town celebrates that relationship is with the annual American Fiesta Amistad. It’s a fun and exciting weekend that demonstrates how the two cultures influence each other and the city.
It’s a music festival with a variety of styles. Every one gathers at the park as band after band takes to the stage. The idea is to alternate between Mexican bands and American bands.
The result is a great time of music, food and fellowship.
This year marked the 10th anniversary of the festival. As usual, my husband and I were at the park for most of the day. I’ve interviewed many of the bands for a variety of publications and they always stop by to say hello when they see me sitting in my lawn chair enjoying the event.The pictures I’ve posted are of two bands that performed that day.

This young man is Ricky Garza (left) with the band Destino Norteno. He’s very good at playing the accordion, a traditional Mexican instrument. Destino is getting ready to go on tour soon. It will be their first time on the road and I wish them a successful journey.

This photo on the right is Andy Sulzman, who has a Christian rock band. I worked with his wife for a while and she has babysat my grandson on occasion. Andy and his “Band of Brothers” recently returned from a two-week tour.

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