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 2013 took place on a beautiful and sunny day. The weather was perfect! When the sun is out there is always so much energy throughout the day…from the moment we arrive to set up until the last act finishes up on the mainstage…it was a great day for Fiesta!
This was the year of the Birmingham Pledge. The Pledge has become such a big part of the fabric of Birmingham in recent years. Written in 1997 by Birmingham Attorney James E. Rotch, it is a statement of principles at the heart of a grassroots effort to eliminate racism and prejudice in the world. It was first introduced publicly at the 1998 MLK Unity Breakfast in Birmingham. Since then, over 150,000 people have signed the pledge online and it continues to be a source for unity through conferences and study circles. The Fiesta board felt our event was the perfect place to have a display. We contacted Wade Black, the Executive Director of the Birmingham Pledge Foundation and told him what we wanted to do and he was so excited about the visual we were creating! I was happy that Wade was happy. He was an educator and filmmaker and such a huge part of all things related to social justice in our city for so long. Sadly he passed away in February 2014. I am forever grateful that we included the pledge at Fiesta while Wade was still with us.
We had a two-sided large stand-up display created of the Birmingham Pledge. One side was in English and the other in Spanish. Home Depot helped with the managing of the display. Fiesta patrons were invited to place a hand print on the display throughout the day. It was such a beautiful site! I stopped taking pictures long enough to put my hand print on the display. Fiesta board member, Matt Ennis, and I happened to be at the display at the same time and my husband took my camera and captured us inking up and strategically placing our hands on the white canvas. I was so happy to do this with another board member… Later that day, I returned to the display to see it covered with hand prints and see my friend and photographer, Larry O. Gay, capture a Hispanic mother placing her baby’s footprint on the canvas. He always gets the best shots!
We are fortunate to always have the beautiful fountain at Linn Park on display at Fiesta. We place the presenting and patron sponsors around the fountain and there is always a lot of foot traffic in this area. This year the children seemed to really love the fountain and I managed to catch a few photos of them dangling their feet in the water. There was such joy and excitement in their mood. In fact, children and families always make Fiesta so perfect for me. I love searching for families enjoying different aspects of the event and photographing them. I’ve included a few of those photos in this post.
Another favorite photo from 2013 was of the elderly gentleman at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame booth playing his saxophone. He was near the cultural village and I think I went by several times just to hear him. His music added a different dimension to Fiesta with his jazz sounds in the midst of all the Latin sounds! It all merged together quite well though and the crowd loved him!
On the Coca Cola Main Stage, we had Henry Santos performing as the second to last act. This Dominican artist certainly had the ladies all a flutter during his performance! He invited one young lady to the stage to dance with him and it turned out to be a young woman I knew from The Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA)! She was up front and center waiting for his performance when I captured a photo of her. I was so happy that she got to go on stage with him during one of the songs. She was clearly loving it and so was the crowd! We’ve had several artists pull audience members on stage over the years. The crowd loves it and it carries the family feel of the festival through the night.
More to come to please come back every other Friday through September 30, 2017, for more behind the scenes stories of Fiesta!