The weather did not exactly cooperate, but Joe Hernandez and his friends didn’t let it interrupt their celebration.
The 2013 Cinco de Mayo celebration in Great Bend went on as scheduled despite 50-degree temperatures and a brisk north wind.
Hernandez was smiling when he saw generous crowds celebrating Cinco de Mayo. He figures everyone must have been thinking warm thoughts while spending time with family and friends. Colorful costumes, fast-paced musical entertainment and all types of specially-prepared food were the order of the day.
“The weather, of course, is something we have no control over,” he said.
Cinco de Mayo Queen Christy Jaquez and her princesses Vero Calzada, Cassie Madrid and Yajaira Briserio put on their best smiles while riding convertibles in the parade.
Geovanni Morales was honored as Outstanding Hispanic Role Model. Morales and Alma Guerrera were honored with scholarships from the Golden Belt Community Foundation.
The musical entertainment was highlighted by the unique sound of Tamborazo Original Zacatecano, whose members reside in Salina. Zacatecas is a city and municipality in Mexico, and the capital of the state of Zacatecas. It is located in the north central part of the country.
The group performed their distinctive Mexican sound with two saxophones, a bass drum and a drum set.
Performing at Jack Kilby Square were saxophone players Edgar Monveal and Yunior Monveal, bass drummer Oscar Avias and drummer Jorge Ruvaleaba.
Ruvaleaba grew up with music in his family, so he comes by his appreciation of music naturally. He said he was handed a musical instrument to play at a young age. His family moved to Kansas when he was 2 years old. Ruvaleaba said different sections of Mexico perform their own unique style of music, much like a language dialect.
“Music has always been a part of my family,” he said. “Everyone in our family was always playing an instrument.”
Tamborazo Original Zacatecano has as many as eight members, including two trumpets and a tuba player were not available Saturday.
“We play at a lot of different events — celebrations like Cinco de Mayo, or weddings,” he said. “We adjust the type of music depending on what we are playing at. We play selections that go back to the 1940s, which some people really like. We also have a more modern sound that we play.”
Ruvaleaba said he enjoys performing because he enjoys music. But like as true entertainer, he also enjoys when people said they appreciate their work.
“It’s always nice when people enjoy what they hear,” he said.
The scheduled dancers performed — El Sol, the Great Bend folk dancers; Jesusita en Chihuahua and Guateque Veracruzano. The Zumba Fitness One dancers got the stage rocking with their brand of dance.