By : Fredwill Hernandez
In its 28th year, and held annually, The City of Los Angeles’ Fiesta Broadway, is the largest free street festival commemorating Cinco de Mayo, considered one of the most celebrated and [historically] important Mexican holidays, took place Sun. – April 30 near Civic Center Park, on Broadway [St.] in DTLA.
Since its debut in 1990, anticipation is set on this yearly event in celebration and remembrance of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza who defeated the French Army on May 5, 1862 in the Battle of Puebla. This Mexican victory was a surprise for the French Army was said to be much larger and better equipped than the Mexican army. Cinco de Mayo is a popular date for people of Mexican descent to recognize the bravery of those who fight against oppression.
Besides the great food, and entertainment, including free giveaways from a multitude of the fiesta sponsors that included DIABOLO [Beverages], Mt. Dew, Estrella Jalisco, Verizon Wireless, FOX11, McDonald’s, GEICO, Kellogg’s, Metro PCS, Home Depot, Pepsi, Money Gram, Colgate, Time Warner Cable, T-Mobile, Curacao, among many others, it was evident many fiesta attendees were there to enjoy the live performance line-up.
Among performers that included ATL [ Garza], Mariachi Los Reyes, Carlos Unger, Sandra Sandoval, Ana Victoria, William Garza, and Mexican actor and singer Jose Manuel Figueroa, who also served as the festival’s Grand Marshal, it was obvious who many festival goers were waiting to see, Don Pedro Rivera, “El Patriarca Del Corrido,” who upon hitting the stage, before his set, told fiesta goers, “I remember 28 years ago, when I first came to this country being at Placita Olvera, over there taking photos and selling cassettes. We have to thank Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar of the 14th District, along with Abraham Contreras, and all his team at All Access Entertainment, and all who put and have put this event on for years.”
Many event sponsors such as Fox, [the] ARMY, Mt. Dew, Paramount Pictures, DIABOLO, and the fiesta’s [main] stage sponsor Estrella Jalisco, capitalized on the opportunity to personally engage with fiesta attendees and make their presence felt.
At 4 pm, Estrella Jalisco attempted to break the [Guinness] world record by holding a Lotería [lottery] – which is similar to “bingo,” and utilizes pictures of traditional Mexican icons in place of numbered spaces to fill the board. In place of simply calling numbers, the announcer told a short riddle or saying, followed by the name of the icon, for the players to mark the corresponding piece on their boards. Estrella Jalisco commissioned 54 pieces of artwork for its sponsored game, curated by J Walter Thompson-Mexico.
Another company who made their presence felt was DIABOLO, who directly engaged with fiesta goers by handing out samples of their beverages.
As to the importance of being at FB, “Fiesta Broadway reaches a large Hispanic audience and we wanted to take advantage of increasing our brand awareness,” explained Suzana Shaw, Marketing Manager, DIABOLO Beverages. “DIABOLO is a French inspired sparkling beverage that is low calorie and low sugar. With diabetes being prevalent in the Hispanic population, it was important to for us to provide a healthier alternative to other sodas and energy drinks in the market.”
Viacom’s Paramount Pictures also capitalized on the opportunity to promote their 5th installment of their [upcoming] Transformers movie during FB, with an interactive branded space that read in Spanish, Él Ultimo Caballero [The Last Knight], allowing fiesta goers to take photos, spin a roulette wheel for prices, or just post and take selfies next to their Optimus Prime [Truck] or Bumblebee [Robot].
Another crowd favorite was Fox’s [LA] flagship of news personalities such as Marla Tellez, Gigi Graciette, and Sandra Endo, and colleagues, and host of [both] TMZ and DISH Nation, who signed autographs and engaged with fiesta goers.