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Selena shines on!

Thousands cheer as the music begins at the first Fiesta de la Flor in 2015. Photo by Jason Page

The music is all in your head and only your head. At a silent disco, only those wearing the wireless headsets can hear the beats, allowing for rave-like parties just about anywhere without violating sound ordinances. Fiesta de la Flor introduces silent disco to Corpus Christi this year as one of several new attractions at its second annual event May 6-7.

The size of the festival doubled this year, expanding from downtown’s North Bayfront Park to also include the American Bank Center and the Art Museum of South Texas, where the silent disco will take over the Upper Gallery.

“The younger audiences really like the silent disco,” said Teresa Rodriquez Bartlett, chief public affairs and business development officer for the Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau. “It’s a lot of fun to watch them dance and sing to music only they can hear.”

Moving down in age, the festival is also expanding the Kids’ Zone. The Texas State Aquarium will have a booth, while the Corpus Christi Museum of Science and History will provide games. While the kids are playing on jumpy castles, the parents can enjoy the nonstop music from the solo center stage or the big screens displayed throughout the area while taking in bay views.

“Music will be going on from the beginning until the end,” Rodriguez Bartlett said. “It will go until midnight on Friday and start again Saturday morning at 10 a.m. and keep going until the grand finale fireworks.”

Another new attraction, the McDonald’s Fiesta Tour bus makes a stop in Corpus Christi to honor Selena and Latin music in general. The Latin GRAMMY® Experience is a museum on wheels that honors Latin music greats. It begins its first-ever tour of 19 cities in Corpus Christi at Fiesta de la Flor. The exhibit is a 50-foot bus that includes a recording studio photo booth, memorabilia displays and trivia games.

El Mercado, the vendor section of the fiesta, has also doubled in size with more than 75 artisans expected from Mexico, Central America, South America and the United States. This year’s market will be inside the American Bank Center, making room for the bigger array and protecting shoppers and vendors from the elements. In other words, it will be cool and dry in case outside isn’t.

La Plaza, where the food trucks live, expands as well with nearly 30 different eating options. Food trucks from Austin, Houston and San Antonio will join local favorites.

“Selena,” the movie, will play throughout the weekend at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. inside the Selena Auditorium at the American Bank Center.

The centerpiece of the entire event happens on stage with artists including Grammy Award-winner Chris Perez, Ramón Ayala y sus Bravos Del Norte and four-time Grammy winners La Mafia. Clarissa Serna, the hometown musician who soared on “The Voice,” will also perform.

Last year, the inaugural event drew more than 52,000 fans from around the world. The economic impact on Corpus Christi was estimated at $13 million. Fiesta de la Flor is expected to host more then 70,000 fans this year.

“This event is a chance to celebrate the life and legacy of Selena Quintanilla Perez, a lady who has been an inspiration to singers and to girls,” Rodriguez Bartlett said. “Girls who did not have a chance to meet her when she was with us still follow her. Her inspiration is that you can accomplish anything. Those things make this event a very special one.”

For more information regarding Fiesta de la Flor, visit fiestadelaflor.com. Two-day passes are available for $15 with single-day passes at $10. Tickets may be purchased at ticketfly.com as well as Texas H-E-B locations for a limited time.

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