Fiesta de la Flor Leaves Corpus Christi
Bid bidi bidi gone gone to Fiesta de la Flor, which is no more a hometown tribute to Latina superstar Selena Quintanilla Perez. The singer’s family is packing up the glitter and glitz and moving on. No word yet on where the festival may land, if anywhere.
The news came in a media release from Q Productions.
"Unfortunately, even beautiful journeys must come to an end, and the Selena Foundation and the Quintanilla family have announced that Fiesta de la Flor will no longer be held in Corpus Christi, Texas," reads the release.
Much of the rest of the statement was dedicated to thanking a long list of organizations, including the Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau, for their support the last five years.
The news follows the resignation of bureau CEO Paulette Kluge, who quit after she was criticized for changing the contract with the Quintanillas without input from other officials. Although she legally had the power to rewrite a contract she was instrumental in creating, the CVB Board and the City Council were not happy with the news.
Kluge, who is credited with building the relationship with the Quintanillas that led to the birth of Fiesta de la Flor, agreed to pay the Selena Foundation more money than originally granted. The first contract designated a percentage of the profit each year.
When this year’s event brought in only $35,000 over expenses, Kluge agreed to pay the foundation $50,000. She also guaranteed at least $50,000 in future years. She warned the CVB Board of Directors that the Quintanillas were thinking of pulling the festival out of the city.
“In four years, we gave less than $100,000 to the Selena Foundation,” Kluge said at a meeting that brought the controversy to light. “The Quintanilla family said that is unacceptable. If we don’t get something for the Selena Foundation, there will not be another Fiesta de la Flor.”
Kluge, who resigned a week after that statement, has been temporarily replaced by Alyssa Barrera Mason, the executive director of the Downtown Management District. Mason is working both jobs for at least 120 days from hire while the CVB conducts a nationwide search for a full-time CEO.
The festival began in 2015 and has brought about $15 million in economic benefit to the city each year. Formerly sponsored by Citgo, the next festival had a new benefactor lined up. Hermann and Hermann, a law firm based out of Corpus Christi with offices in San Antonio and McAllen, signed on to be the 2020 sponsor.
The firm is still very much interested in sponsoring the event, a spokesperson for Hermann and Hermann told reporters.
The CVB, meanwhile had publicly stated that it wanted to bring in a third party to produce future festivals.
“That would really take the CVB out of it financially, production-wise,” said board Chairperson Nixon-Bice in late September after Kluge’s resignation. “We would just be the facilitator to bring the two organizations together to make Fiesta de la Flor happen.”
As it turns out, neither Corpus Christi nor the visitors bureau has to worry about that any more.
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