NOTE: Fiesta Fridays is a special series to highlight the many memories I have of Fiesta through the photographs I’ve taken since 2003.
Fiesta 2008 was a beautiful sunny day, made all the more sweet by our Coca Cola Main Stage hostess, Gabriela Vergara!
Elisa Gonzalez-Rubio, Fiesta board member and employee of Coca Cola, was heavily involved with the main stage acts for a number of years. She had a contact with Gabriela Vergara and brought her to Fiesta in 2006 and was able to work it out to have her at Fiesta again in 2008. Gabriella was a former Miss Venezuela and at the time, a telenovela actress and star of the Hispanic version of “Desperate Housewives.” I remember seeing her that morning as we prepared to open the event and thinking how gorgeous she was…and her personality and energy was over the top!
She was staying at the Tutwiler hotel and our board member, Mike Suco – also with Coca Cola – wanted her to wear a Coca Cola t-shirt that day while she was on the main stage. Mike said she took that t-shirt, asked for a pair of scissors and turned that t-shirt into a fashion statement! I’m sure if we had taken a bunch more Coke t-shirts and started cutting away like Gabriela did with hers, we would have been able to sell them to the crowd that day!
Gabriela did not stay anchored to the Main Stage that day…she was out in the crowd, getting people to dance, posing for photographs and just charming everyone who came in contact with her that day! She was front and center when Storyteller, Antonio Sacre did one of his performances in front of the stage, encouraging others to join her. She even got into the wrestling ring and got the crowd going before the matches that day. I love the photos of her interviewing a wrestler flat on his back in the ring! I mean…who would have thought to do that? One of my favorite memories is of her dancing with my friend and DJ, Ivan Correa on stage during the last act of the night. They sure looked great dancing together!!! We’ve had the great fortune to have Gabriella at Fiesta twice in our 15 years…and we would love to have her come back again one day…what do you say, Gabriella?!!!
Early in the day we typically like to showcase dance groups and many other cultural artists. This particular year, we had a dance group from Costa Rica that performed. My memory is a little foggy on how they came to us, but the fact is, they did and they performed in front of the main stage and they were fabulous!!! I love watching traditional dancing and this group did not disappoint. Plus, their outfits were so colorful and flowy. Catching dresses in motion is a favorite of mine and I had plenty opportunity to do this during their performance. These are some of my most favorite photos of all the Fiesta events to date. Someday I’m going to figure out who they were/are. I’m convinced that I have information about them in all my archived Fiesta emails!!!
More to come so please come back every other Friday through September 30, 2017 for more behind the scenes stories of Fiesta!