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 2012 brought our festival back to downtown Birmingham. After two years in Hoover, Alabama, we decided to move back to Birmingham and were welcomed with open arms by the City! Of course, there was more to it than that…it was our 10th anniversary and the Board of Directors felt that we needed to celebrate this milestone where we began all those years ago.
In addition to the celebration, we worked on getting an updated logo created. That logo was revealed in April of 2012 to a crowd of sponsors, supporters and friends of Fiesta. Birmingham Mayor William Bell was on hand to witness the unveiling and also receive recognition for being a long time supporter of the event along with other long time sponsors. That event set the stage for the excitement to follow for the event that year.
We settled back in to Linn Park without skipping a beat. I remember it was a beautiful sunny day and my family was with me to help out as we got set up. That is always the best for me…having my husband and kids around to be a part of Fiesta. Setting up I did my “thing” – walked around taking pictures of all the booths and talking to everyone there. It’s become my favorite thing to do at Fiesta every year. I get to see everyone, greet them and take a photo before things get into full swing. That year, my daughter, Anna Marie, was with me so it made it doubly special.
I remember seeing Church of the Highlands out in full force. Volunteers began draping large flags of the Latin American countries around their tent and through the park around some of the trees. I stopped to take pictures and thought how wonderful that was! I mean, we have flags in the cultural village but this group was making sure that all the countries were represented with this action. I loved it…
Another favorite memory is watching the Home Depot team get set up for the day. Their team had a meeting right before gates opened and I caught our board member, Chris Miller, who worked with Home Depot at the time, getting everyone ready for the day. I remember thinking how beautiful the “picture” was because of their orange vests and the fall colors of the trees.
The entertainment was also pretty stellar that day. I thought Las Valenzuela – the trio of Mexican beauties who performed early that evening, were terrific! They definitely got the attention of the men with their performance! Of course, we made sure the women got equal time with the presence of Toby Love! The energy at the main stage that night was incredible!
Everything just seemed brighter that day for some reason. The energy that day was over the top and it’s hard to explain…when I look at my photos everything seemed brilliant. I think part of this was the fact that we were back where we started. Linn Park makes everyone feel like they are being hugged. I can’t think of another way to explain it. It’s grassy, green, there are trees, and it always feels like we are being caressed by the city. It was great to be back in Birmingham that day…and we felt so welcomed…
More to come so please come back every other Friday through September 30, 2017, for more behind the scenes stories of Fiesta!