Residents and visitors to Cathedral City get a taste of Tequila, Jalisco this weekend.
The city kicked off its sixth annual Taste of Jalisco festival on Friday, featuring a carnival, craft vendors, food, drink and music. The free public event was canceled last year due to the pandemic, but is back Friday through Sunday in downtown Cathedral City.
The festivities are a celebration of Cathedral City’s sister city relationship with Tequila, Jalisco in Mexico, city spokesman Chris Parman said. It is the 25th anniversary of the two sister cities, he added, which is a partnership between two cities in different fields.
“It started in 1996 with former mayor Greg Pettis and the city at the time was looking for a sister city relationship,” Parman said. “They were looking for one in Mexico and at the same time Tequila was looking for a sister city relationship in the United States.”
Groups of adults and children gathered at the festival on Friday night, many at the carnival where they could test their fear of heights on rides like the seesaw or show off their strength on games like the high striker.
Sophia Iattoni said her 3-year-old son Luka was looking forward to the super slide, the teacup ride and the games. Her son has a school and friends to keep him busy, she added, but doesn’t have any of the fun experiences most kids have because of COVID-19.
“We’re just trying to take [Luka] seeing things he’s never seen before because things are open again and we just got sick so it’s like we’re good we can go out again and not be scared for him “said Iattoni.
The festival features a number of food trucks and stalls offering tacos, burritos, agua frescas, burgers and funnel cakes. A bar near the Community Stage sells adult booze such as beers, micheladas, margaritas and, of course, tequila tastings.
Sonia Luna, a travel nurse, came to Cathedral City from Las Vegas, Nevada for the event. She said she wanted to see the mariachi, taste the food and do some shopping.
“In Vegas we don’t have a lot of festivals, it’s mostly like concerts or shows on the Strip,” Luna said. “We rarely have things like this and here it seems like every weekend you have a fun activity so it’s pretty nice.”
Friday’s event featured musical performances by Mila & Friends, The Outlaw Mariachi and DJ Markuz Area on the Community Stage. Saturday and Sunday will also have performances on the Community Stage.
But on Saturday, the festival will welcome Nacho Bustillos, Ballet Folklórico de Los Angeles and Mariachi Garibaldi by Jaime Cuéllar to the amphitheater. Tickets are required for this event, although children under 5 can attend for free.
Vendors had also set up kiosks where they sold items such as hats, jewelry, traditional clothes and shoes.
Maria Luisa Valdivieso, owner of Colores Decor Oaxaca, sold handmade embroidery from Oaxaca and Chiapas. Valdivieso said it was important to keep the heritage alive so that younger generations could appreciate it and be proud of it.
“In our culture, there are many ways to show… Pride. It’s not just one thing. Every state has its own thing to be proud of,” she said. “Like Jalisco – tequila, food, leather Oaxaca and Chiapas — embroidery, colors, magic.
Rebecca Luna, president of the Coachella Valley Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said the festival is a celebration not just of culture, but of being among other people celebrating and having fun. The chamber, newly established in 2020, was also a supplier at the event.
“It makes the Hispanic community more aware of what it has to offer. Everybody loves Mexico,” Luna said. not take advantage of the vendors, why not take advantage of the shows, tequila, whatever they have.”
Liana Campos sold jewelry and clothes in her boutique, Parallel. She liked that the festival had a Jalisco, Mexico touch.
“I think anything that can promote what’s special about your heritage, your culture, your location — something like that — is really something that defines you as a person,” Campos said. “So this festival is not so much for people who are not from Jalisco, it is for people (from) Jalisco. To give them pride, to give them their own individuality and say “Hey, it’s me”. That’s what I have.
The event will take place from Friday, February 11 through Sunday, February 13 at 68-600 E. Palm Canyon Drive. The Saturday festival will be from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and the Sunday festival will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sixth Annual Taste of Jalisco Festival
When: From Friday 11 February to Sunday 13 February
- On Saturday: Festival from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Performances on the community stage of Danza de Artes Mexico from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., Folklorico by Claudia Garcia from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Real de Michoacán from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Performances at the Amphitheater by Nacho Bustillos from 5:30 p.m. and Ballet Folklórico de Los Angeles and Mariachi Garibaldi by Jaime Cuéllar from 7 p.m. includes tequila tastings. Children under five do not need tickets. Tickets can be purchased at soundskilz.ticketspice.com/taste-of-jalisco-main-concert.
- Sunday: Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Performances on the community stage by the Ballet Folklorique de MIROSLAVA from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. and by Las Tias from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Ani Gasparyan covers the western Coachella Valley towns of Desert Hot Springs and Cathedral City. Contact her at [email protected]