By Tony Parra
For the first time in the history of the Roosevelt County Fair there will be a Spanish Musical Fair celebrating the Hispanic culture which is a big part of the community, according to fair organizers.
The event is also known as “Feria Musical,” which translates to “Spanish Musical Fair.” Neither Ray Paralles, the event organizer, nor Fair Board President Kent Best can recall a time when there has ever been a similiar event at the Roosevelt County Fair celebrating the Hispanic culture.
“I’ve been in Portales for eight years and I’ve grown up in the area,” Paralles said. “I’ve never seen it done before. It’s something for the Hispanic community to enjoy. The Fair Board wanted to do something for the Hispanic community, to show their appreciation for their support of the community.”
The Spanish Musical Fair will take place on Sunday at 5 p.m. and the Murphy Brothers Carnival will continue to have the carnival from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The event will be highlighted by Grupo Innovacion, a band which ranges in its music style from cumbias to nortenas. The group will play on the concrete slab. The group has released 12 cds over a 13-year career and their latest album is ‘Emprendiendo Vuelo” which was released on Jan. 24.
The group originally comes from Durango, Mexico, but began their career in Booker, Texas. Booker is located 80 miles northeast of Amarillo next to the Oklahoma border.
“I’m glad they’re (fair board) doing it (having a Spanish Musical Fair),” Elvia Garcia, who contacted the band about playing at the fair, said. “It’s long overdue. This is a great start. I’m very glad Ray decided to do it.”
Best said the board wanted to have the event for Sunday, but there was uncertainity as to how they were going to be able to do it. Best said the board contacted Paralles about helping to find out who to contact to help with the event. Paralles in turn contacted Garcia who was able to contact Grupo Innovacion.
“It takes a lot of hard work,” Garcia said about putting together events. Garcia, a St. Helen’s Catholic Church secretary, also helps coordinating church events.
“I go through radio and newspapers to advertise the events,” Garcia said. “When we do fiestas, we start in advance and can get 6,000 to 7,000 people for the fiestas. If we can get that many for the Sunday, it would be great. That’s a lot for a commmunity this size.”
Paralles hopes if there is a successful turnout so next year they can expand on the idea to incorporate decorations, more music groups and Mexican food products for upcoming fairs.
“We would like people to come out and dance their socks off,” Paralles said. “If it goes well we can do other things to make it bigger and better for next year.”