By: Fredwill Hernandez
In its 27th year, and held annually 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 24 at Civic Center Park, in Downtown Los Angeles.
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 nielsen, Mt. Dew, Bud Light, 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 El Pollo y El Chilo, Christian Felix “La Neva Voz Del Mariachi,” Hermanas Arteaga, and the festival’s Grand Marshal Mexican actor and [mariachi] singer Pablo Montero, among others, it was ten year old mariachi singer Emilio Ortega, who won the crowd over with his charismatic stage presence and vocal ability, one of those moments was when he unexpectedly acknowledged Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar who is responsible for the fiesta, which falls under his 14th District, who happened to be sitting next to the stage, “Jose Huizar…puro Zacatecas,” said Ortega, in reference to the state in Mexico where the councilman is from.
Regional Mexican group Villa 5, comprised of four sisters and one brother, also seemed to be enjoying their time on stage, with their undeniable stage presence, charisma, and chemistry. From their first note, it was evident there was something special and unique about the group, not to mention their association with renown [composer] songwriter and Latin Grammy winner Edgar Cortazar, who was present at the event and who along with Antonio Zamora and Edgar Rodiguez, have been responsible for overseeing the production of the group’s current single “Llorrar y Llorar,” which the group performed.
Many event sponsors such as Fox, [the] ARMY, Mt. Dew, and nielsen, capitalized on the opportunity to personally engage with fiesta attendees and make their presence felt.
“It’s important for nielsen to be here today because we support our communities and we also want to engage with the public and let them know that their opinions and preferences matter, and we also want to remind them that if they are ever asked to be part of a nielsen survey that they say “yes,” eloquently explained Stacie de Armas, VP of Strategic and Consumer Engagement, nielsen [Los Angeles]. “Most important for nielsen is that we’re inclusive of all audiences and we know that Fiesta Broadway is full of some of the lively and flavored full Latinos in Los Angeles, and so for that, we want to be here with everyone, we want to make sure Latinos are included, that the preferences and opinions of Latinos in media, television, products, and brand purchases are represented within our survey research and the way we do that, is by telling [educating] people of who we are and inviting them to participate, [so] if they are ever asked to be part of a nielsen study. When you are asked to be part of a nielsen study you are representing your community, it’s an opportunity to have a voice and opinion on what you like, and I must add that each person who stops by our booth today, aside from receiving a gift, they will have a chance to participate in one of our upcoming research [study] survey’s within a few weeks.”
Another crowd favorite was Fox’s [Channel 11 -LA] flagship of news personalities such as Christine Devine, Jeff Michaels, Sandra Endo, Maria Quiban, and veteran Good Day LA host Steve Edwards, along with his team, and host of [both] Hollywood Today Live and DISH Nation, who signed autographs and engaged with fiesta goers.