Annual St. John’s Fiesta nears again

Bert Bermudez, left, and Irene Langford sort through pinto beans Friday to make sure they are clean and ready for cooking for the St. John’s Mexican Fiesta. About 250 pounds of beans are used for the event.

28th Annual St. John’s Mexican Fiesta

The fiesta runs from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1234 Ky.


6 p.m.-10 p.m., authentic Mexican food

6 p.m.-7 p.m., St. John’s Fiesta Dancers

7:30 p.m.-11 p.m., Son Venzuela


5:30 p.m., Mariachi Habaneros

6 p.m.-10 p.m., authentic Mexican food

6 p.m.-7 p.m., St. John’s Fiesta Dancers

7:30 p.m.-11 p.m., Grupo Picante performs

Carnival games all evening

It began as a small fundraiser in the church basement with a boom box and a burrito make. Now, 28 years later, there’s no boom box at St. John’s annual Mexican Fiesta, but there are plenty of burritos and a whole lot of music.

Burritos, tamales and enchiladas will line the tables at this year’s event June 26 and 27. Volunteers have begun making food in order to feed the 15,000 people expected to attend the two-night affair.

“The backbone of the fiesta is the food,” said Frank Lemus, St. John’s Mexican Fiesta chairman. “Those ladies (who cook) are really the unsung heroes of this whole thing.”

The event has grown so large it requires more than 300 volunteers to get it off the ground. But one volunteer stands out in particular, according to Fiesta organizers.

Buddy Langford began volunteering with the Fiesta in 1985 when his wife, who had been a volunteer, became ill with Lupus and was hospitalized.

“She was so concerned that she wasn’t going to be able to do anything so I told her that I would make up for whatever she had to do,” Langford said. “I made a promise that I’d do all I could.”

He’s been volunteering at the Fiesta ever since.

“Becoming involved and then getting associated with the other people within the Mexican community, that was just a blessing in disguise,” Langford said. “We’ve always done it together ever since that first time.”

Lemus said Langford was a “driving force” behind organizing the event every year.

“He’s the kind of guy that helps us cross a lot of t’s dot a lot of i’s,” Lemus said. “He’s really donated a lot to this fiesta.”