Fiestas patrias

A favorite event is about to mark its thirtieth year. Everybody’s welcome and it’s free, right there in the Capitol rotunda from noon to 1:00 on el diez y seis itself. There are always schoolchildren and there’s usually some folkloric dancing. If Johnny Degollado isn’t there with his conjunto, you’re at the wrong place. The Austin school district’s own Bedichek and Travis High mariachis will play. This is always sponsored by Gonzalo Barrientos.

An additional free event on Friday, September 16, will be a performance by Mariachi Garibay at the plaza in front of Austin city hall, from noon to 1 pm.

The day before that, on September 15, the celebration that usually takes place at Plaza Saltillo will be held at Waterloo Park this year, from 6 to 10 pm. The Mexican consul will deliver the grito. There will be mariachi music and then Ruben Ramos and the Texas Revolution will headline, complete with that great brass section. This is another free event.

On Friday, there’s scheduled to be a parade from Riverside and Congress across the bridge and up to the Capitol, beginning at 4 pm. It’s rumored that one of the themes of the parade will be to demonstrate against minuteman vigilantes conducting independent border patrols.

The free event that features a great many musical groups from the other side of the border that’s usually held at the convention center has been moved to the Travis County Expo Center. This will be on Sunday, September 18, from 11 in the morning until 6:30 in the evening.

The other traditional event here in Austin (just as traditional as the event in the Capitol) will last for three days, at Fiesta Gardens. The music is puro tejano. The Friday, September 16, headliners will be Los Garcia Brothers (the nuclear polka guys who usually perform in bright zoot suits) and Ricky Naranjo y Los Gamblers. On Saturday, September 17, the chief attractions will be Los Aguilillas, Los Dos Gilbertos, and then La Tropa F to headline. Closing the program out on Sunday, September 18, will be Gary Hobbs and San Antonio’s own Jay Perez, La Voz. Usually there’s a bit of a let-up in enforcing the sound ordinances, and we’re especially hoping to hear the Garcia Brothers, Los Dos Gilbertos, and that great show band, La Tropa F, if we’re not there right up close to hear them take the stage. There will be food, and lots of it.

This is compiled mostly from radio announcements. Sometimes schedules change. But no matter what, there will be music all over town.

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