‘Bidi Bidi Bom Bom’ comes back to the beach
Dance your heart out at a silent disco, take a selfie with Selena, brush elbows with the stars — all within the sights and sounds of the sea as Corpus Christi once again celebrates Fiesta de la Flor.
In honor of Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla Perez, Fiesta de la Flor on March 24-25 in downtown Corpus Christi brings back old favorites along with some new features.
The biggest new attraction will be the wax figure of Selena unveiled last year at Madame Tussauds Hollywood, which will be available for selfies.
“This is a great moment for for us and all of the Selena fans,” said Teresa Rodriguez Bartlett, chief public affairs and business development officer for the festival at the Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Instead of going all the way out to California to see Selena, you can do it right here.”
The wax figure will be set up inside the Art Museum of South Texas, where long lines are expected for a chance to see a lifelike Selena. While fans are waiting for their photo op, they’ll be able to enjoy an exhibit of art celebrating Selena that has been created throughout the years.
A panel discussion between celebrity Selena fans is another new addition to the festival. Suzette Quintanilla-Arriaga, Selena’s sister, will moderate the discussion between Jackie Cruz, who plays Marisol ‘Flaca’ Gonzales on the hit Netflix show “Orange is the New Black,” and Jackie Guerra, who played Selena’s sister, Suzette, in the movie “Selena.”
“They’re going to talk about how Selena impacted their lives and how she was a great role model that opened the door to Latinas in the industry,” Bartlett said.
An impressive list of award-winning Tejano musicians is set to perform, including Selena’s brother’s band, A.B. Quintanilla and Elektro Kumbia.
El Dusty, a local DJ nominated for a 2016 Latin Grammy, will head up the silent disco. Dancers will wear wireless headphones lit up in bright neon colors that pipe in music only the wearer can hear. Several choices of music will be available.
“It’s fun to watch,” Bartlett said. “You cannot hear the music — only the people with the headphones can. It’s a lot of fun because you see the people dancing and singing.”
El Mercado will be back with artisans from Mexico and Latin America as well as La Plaza, a food truck park, and El Parque, a children’s activity area. On Saturday, March 25, the night sky will light up with a grand fireworks finale presented by H-E-B.
The annual event somewhat coincides with the singer’s birthday, adding to the celebratory aspect. Selena would have celebrated her 45th birthday April 16. Dates for the event change each year, but it’s usually in March and April.
Fiesta de la Flor is planned for a weekend when the most hotel rooms will be available, Bartlett said.
“I think this is a beautiful opportunity to celebrate the life of this wonderful Latino artist,” Bartlett said. “She’s a great example to little girls that they can grow up and achieve their goals. It’s an example of hard work and dedication. She broke barriers and opened up doors.”
Selena Quintanilla-Perez was killed in 1995 at the age of 24. More than 50,000 people came to Corpus Christi to attend her memorial service.
Now, over 20 years later, Selena’s life and music still influence young fans. Last year, about 50,000 people attended the Fiesta de la Flor celebration. Around 70,000 are expected this year.
“I love to see the people celebrating the legacy that Selena left. Kids didn’t have the experience to see her on stage, so they’ve been loving her through their parents,” Bartlett said. “To see the families come together — that’s what it is, a family event.”
Fiesta de la Flor opens its gates at 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 24. Activities begin again at noon Saturday, March 25. Events are centered at North Bayfront Park, 1590 N. Shoreline Blvd., with other events at the American Bank Center and the Art Museum of South Texas.
Visit fiestadelaflor.com to purchase tickets in advance and plan your visit. Also, look for special commemorative Selena cups soon to be available at Stripes stores across the Coastal Bend through April 4 (or until supplies last). Part of the proceeds will benefit the Selena Foundation.
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