By Yolanda Nájera-Ewing
Parade, car show, entertainment, food, games and more will make up this year’s 35th annual Saint Francis Church Fiestas Patrias to be held Sept. 13 and 14 on the church grounds and stage at Church Avenue and Main Street.
The car show will once again kick off this year’s Fiestas Patrias. It will start promptly at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13 with cars lining up on both sides of Main Street in front of the church. David Sinteral of DJ Supetown will be providing music during the car show. Many out of state car clubs will be participating this year as in the past. Judging of the cars will be held at 4 p.m. Patti Castaneda organized and chaired this event and has done so since the very first Fiesta Car Show. “The Fiesta Car Show this year will again be one of the biggest,” offered Fiesta Co-Chair Steve Lopez at a Fiesta Committee meeting.
The Fiesta parade is slated to begin Saturday at 10 a.m. The Fiesta and parade theme this year is “LIVE IN FAITH – VIVIR EN LA FE.” Joann Besich is the parade chairperson, and she is still registering parade entries. Anyone wanting to participate in the parade should call Joann at 520-827-0592 or the church office at 520-689-2250.
Headliners, Mariachi Alma Mexicana, of Tucson will be performing both days of this two day event. Additional entertainment for both days will also be provided by Baile Folklorico Alma de Superior and Billie Jo’s Hip Hop group. Other local talent will also be part of the entertainment.
Fiestas Patrias food booths will open at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Food booths will include menudo, chile and bean burros, pastries, meat empanadas, Indian fry bread, nachos, snow cones, pickles, popcorn and more. There will be flavored drinks, sodas and water. The booths will close at 5 p.m. on Saturday for Mass and the crowning of the Fiesta Queen. The booths will re-open at 6 p.m. Games and other booths will open early in the afternoon. Tickets for all purchases will be sold at the fiesta grounds. Tickets for making purchases at the fiesta will NOT be sold prior to the beginning of the fiesta. Tickets for the annual Fiesta Fund Raiser will be the only tickets sold prior to Sept. 13. Winners of the fund raiser will receive $300, $150 and $75 for first, second and third places respectively.
Vying for Fiestas Patrias Queen are Alisha Garcia and Emma Sanchez. Both girls reside locally with their families and range in age from 10 years old to 11 years of age. The girls and their families have been busy consulting with Marcella Garcia who is the Queen Candidates Chairperson and coordinator of their fund raising activities. These fund raising events will end this week.
Alisha Garcia is 10 years old and the daughter of Irene and Ramon Navarro. She is in the sixth grade at John F. Kennedy Elementary School. Alisha decided to run for Fiesta Queen because she wanted to help her church and work with her parents and family to raise money for her church.
Emma Sanchez is 11 years old and the daughter of Sarah and Ricardo Sanchez of San Tan Valley. She is in the sixth grade at Augusta Ranch Elementary School. Emma stated, “I want to be Queen to help raise money for the church I attend with my family. I have wanted to be Queen since I was five years old.”
Donations of a monetary nature, products, supplies, or labor are much needed and will be very welcomed. These donations are tax deductible and the Fiesta Committee is providing the tax identification number to all those making donations. Those wanting to make donations or volunteer their time may call Fiestas Co-Chair Steve Lopez (689-5059), Fiestas co-chair Olga Lopez (520-827-4119), and the church office (689-2250).
Church Pastor, Father James, along with the Fiesta chairpersons, stressed that all members of the community are invited to attend the Fiesta with their friends and family as well as any out of town visitors. The Fiestas Patrias are fun for everyone.