From the daily archives: Friday, April 15, 2011

Mariachi Fest Works Through A Tight Budget; Barbara Worth Returns
With A Classy Event

THE CUTBACK MENTALITY WHICH BEGAN last Fall continues to spread throughout Imperial Valley.
Legislators and city councils throughout the land are looking for ways to trim back on costs and get a better handle on their expenses. That’s after years of neglect and lip service to the issue.
Doing things “on the cheap” has gotten out of hand and has brought about some changes in what should have been bigger and better events for the Valley.
It’s the popular thing to do, but is it necessary?
Since we cover a lot of these in detail, we think the Valley is selling itself short by trying to conserve on anything that’s considered extravagant by a handful of people.
The California Mid-Winter Fair looked a little on the cheap side with just tribute bands performing.
Now comes the Mariachi Festival to Calexico and a lineup that is made up of local and student groups. It will also have a new venue.
This year it will take place in Rockwood Plaza behind city hall.
A new stage is being constructed for the event and the organizers assure us that there will be plenty of lighting in the mostly dark park.  We’re also assured that it will be cleaned up and some of the people who take to sleeping there won’t be getting in the way of the proceedings.
The reason, we’re told,  is to keep expenses for this event down, even though past events have been popular and profitable.
We liked the Crummett location and have always thought Rockwood was a little small for a large crowd.
Several years ago when the city built a stage at Crummett it was for the express purpose of bringing more entertainment to the city. That extra entertainment never materialized except for the Mariachi Festival.
Now we’re back to Rockwood with a decided lack of parking and a definite local flavor to the event.
If something like this is supposed to be a showcase for the city, how come they’re showing just how cheap they can be? Such events provide more than just recreation. They provide people from other parts of California with a look at a dynamic area. If the dynamism isn’t dampened too much.
The Mariachi Festival is also free this year, even though it should stand on its own with a reasonable ticket price and a higher,  preferred seating price.
The city shouldn’t be emphasizing that it is poor. It should be emphasizing that it has a diverse culture that’s capable of supporting itself.
If you play for poor people and market direct to them, then that’s all you’re going to get. Market to a higher class group and you might just attract more people who are interested in advancing the city.
This change is OK for one year, but we don’t want to see it become permanent. Calexico – and Imperial Valley – deserves better than a show staged “on the cheap.”
DANCING WITH THE STARS is an event that is done with some class and style. Nothing cheap here. From the $75.00 per person price tag to the custom made costumes of the contestants, it has a certain amount of elegance to it.
This year’s event also returned to the Barbara Worth Convention Center, one of the best venues for having a party between here and San Diego.
I’m glad that someone is using this facility again and hope there will be more vents staged there. It has provided a central focal point for the Valley and invites people to get dressed up and come out for a stylish time.
We hope that someone will be taking venue over once again. It has been sorely missed around here.
OVER IN BRAWLEY, the city had a ribbon cutting for the last section of the Brawley By-pass that will speed trucks, campers and motor homes around the city and on there way to the Glamis Sand Dunes and other points east and west.
It will be interesting to see how much effect this will have on business in downtown. One of the complaints heard has always been about the amount of truck traffic through the downtown area. That makes it impossible for people to browse or cruise through the shopping areas. It also creates a bottleneck for traffic trying to pass through town.
We’re looking forward to its completion and hope it brings about some prosperity too.

%d bloggers like this: