An hour at the Pinata Festival

By Yvonne Santy

The bike ride to the Southside Park was melty-like, but I just couldn’t wait to get to the Piñata Festival. Though I was running late and only spent an hour at the park, I couldn’t be happier about that first part of my day. I mean, I was behind the scenes days before the festival, making Piñatas for the first time in my life, and eager to see them all on display.

I was one of dozens at Sol Collective cutting colorful tissue paper and gluing it to cardboard boxes. There, I saw piñatas that kids and adults made and wanted in on the fun. I put the red, white, and green tissue on the pyramid-shaped piñatas. It was so time consuming but whether I listened to the oldies in the background, or chatted up a storm with people I was making piñatas with, I was part of a team. By the end of the Piñata-making magic I was ready for the festival. And ready for sleep.

I woke up and realized I missed the chance to watch my Aztec dance group (Maquilli Tonatiuh). What a bummer! If I know anything, my calpulli put on a beautiful show. I got the most of my hour by stopping by each booth. The first one I went to was an info booth selling refreshments. I recognized a friend of mine from my calpulli, and we caught up for a bit before I chugged a bottle of ice cold water. Thanks, Estella for directing me to a spot where I could quench my thirst!

Next to that first booth was Sol Collective’s, where merchandise was sold. Safe Bank came out and displayed the pink piggy bank piñata that was made for them. They were one of the sponsors for the day.

Educational Homestay Programs, a foreign exchange student service, was out next to La Raza Galleria Posada. I wondered what an exchange student from China might think of piñatas and spanish art.

I stopped by the Girl Scouts booth and talked to a very nice woman who informed me that many young girls in the program are limited in what they can do because there aren’t enough troop leaders like back in the day. This made me want to volunteer some time because I used to be a Sun Beam, which is pretty much like a girl scout, and I don’t know what my childhood would have been without that one summer camp experience! Oh yeah, I was also informed that Girl Scouts is celebrating their 100th birthday and i was given a few pins. Perfect gifts for some young ladies I know!

There were a few booths for piñata making and face painting. I would have stayed for just those booths if I had the time but I walked away from them reluctantly hoping the kids there would have fun for me.

I walked on and noticed so many artists were out! I met a lady named Lisa Defehr who makes adventure hats and beautiful fused glass necklaces. The one I’m wearing had bubbles shaped pieces which illuminate in dreamlike colors when they catch the light.

I got to meet plenty of local artists like Rachel Knipping, Jesus Barela, and Lorrain Garcia. There was also a table offering henna by Vivi. Henna is a fun way to find tattoo inspiration!

Anyway, what was cute was the booth for Chulo Baby. They were selling playful and expressive clothing for niños and I wanted to dress up my two nephews when I was checking out the threads.

Crafty Corazon was also out for the day, adding more flavor and color to the scene.

One thing I found amazing was the booth for Las Paginas Amarillas. I recognized the word “Paginas,” which means pages in Spanish, and there I was drawn. Stuff to read? This booth was more than that.

Apparently, Las Paginas Amarilallas are the Spanish Yellow Pages. This is a resourceful guide for Spanish speaking residents who need to find anything from attorneys to places to help with residency, to stores for all your party planning needs.

I can’t forget about the food trucks that were out. A pinata festival is nothing without comida, which Fusion Eatz and Wicked Wich provided.

Definitely my favorite part if it all was the music playing and the dancing. I found a couple friends I haven’t seen since the semester ended. We two-stepped our way toward each other when in front of the stage (which has a massive mural backdrop) we swayed our shoulder and hips as we all exchanged smiles before I left.

It was great to see people out, celebrating in the heat. I wasn’t the only one trying not to melt under the sun’s rays but maybe I need to get up on Andrew’s father’s swag with a solar powered fan hat!

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