Fiesta draws crowd despite high temperatures
Although the city of Woodburn's 54th annual Fiesta Mexicana came on the tail of a record heat wave, the annual event, which took place Friday through Sunday, was as popular as ever.
Daily high temperatures recorded last Wednesday and Thursday rose well above 100 degrees and shattered records, but by the time Fiesta rolled around, the heat was more temperate. Friday had a high of 98, Saturday a high of 89 and Sunday a high of 90.
The city made some adjustments to the event in anticipation of the heat, including adding industrial-grade fans and cooling mist stations at a few locations around Legion Park. But in the end, the weather didn't have too much of an effect.
"We were concerned about the heat, but it didn't end up affecting attendance," wrote assistant city administrator Jim Row in an email. The city tallied a total of 23,081 attendees over the course of the event's three days, a significant increase in attendance from last year's event, which drew 22,068 total attendees.
Row said the event's attendance on Sunday was especially impressive.
"Sunday was huge for us. We had approximately 10,700 that day, which was up by 1,000 from Sunday last year," he wrote.
Row said the city is attributing the increase to the closing musical act of that night, Banda Maguey, a musical group from Jalisco, Mexico. "They put on a great show and the park was packed when they came on," Row wrote.
Another event that drew crowds both in-person and online was a new addition to Fiesta: the Selena tribute singing competition, which challenged participants to sing in the style of Selena Quintanilla-Perez, the late Mexican-American pop idol. The competition spanned all three days of Fiesta. A live video stream of the competition's final round posted to the Fiesta Mexicana Facebook page on Sunday was viewed over 3,000 times at the time of publication.
Priscila Arechiga won first place and Yesenia Zazueta won second place in the singing competition.
The city crowned the 2017 Fiesta Court Queen and First Princess on Friday evening. Daisy Tapia Gonzalez, a rising senior at the Academy of International Studies, was named queen. In her application to join the court, Tapia Gonzalez wrote, "I see this as an opportunity to demonstrate how proud I am to be Mexican. I believe that the time I lived in Cuernavaca, Mexico helped me see and actually experience the struggles many Mexicans face nowadays, but also to gain unique and beautiful experiences that have shaped me and my personality which I seek to illustrate at Woodburn's Fiesta."
Claudia Perez Correa, also a rising senior at AIS, was named First Princess. "I would like to be a representative of my school and community because I would help our community by informing them about all our programs for which they would receive benefits in the community and learn different cultures," she wrote in her Fiesta Court application.
Tapia Gonzalez, Perez Correa and the six other young women on the court appeared in the parade and at other events throughout Fiesta Mexicana.
The car show, always a popular feature at the event, had dozens of entries.
And Row estimated the parade had about 250 entries and 20,000 attendees.
"The Fiesta was very successful this year," Row wrote. "We were grateful the warm weather didn't keep people away."