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Archive for Saturday, June 25, 2011

St. John’s Fiesta celebrates Mexican food, culture

It’s so important to keep our traditions going’

June 25, 2011

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Don and Laura Stull dance to traditional Mexican music during St. John’s Mexican Fiesta on Friday at St. John the Evangelist Church, 1234 Ky. The annual event with lots of food and entertainment will continue Saturday.

Don and Laura Stull dance to traditional Mexican music during St. John’s Mexican Fiesta on Friday at St. John the Evangelist Church, 1234 Ky. The annual event with lots of food and entertainment will continue Saturday.

Children take advantage of an inflatable at the annual St. John's Mexican Fiesta Friday. The two-day event recognizing the Mexican-American community in Lawrence continues Saturday.

Children take advantage of an inflatable at the annual St. John's Mexican Fiesta Friday. The two-day event recognizing the Mexican-American community in Lawrence continues Saturday.

Kristen Hinshaw, left, and Casey Wallace feast on cotton candy during the St. John's Mexican Fiesta.

Kristen Hinshaw, left, and Casey Wallace feast on cotton candy during the St. John's Mexican Fiesta.

Fue una noche perfecta Friday for the annual St. John’s Mexican Fiesta in Lawrence.

Hundreds of residents turned out at St. John the Evangelist Church, 1234 Ky., to take part in the festivities, which included traditional dancing, live music and, of course, authentic Mexican food. The two-day event, started in 1981, celebrates Mexican-American heritage through the people’s faith, music and community.

“It does my heart good that here in Lawrence we can keep our traditions alive,” said LaShane Starr, who works with Fiesta Folklorica, a youth dance group in the area. “In Mexican culture celebrations are a big part of it. It’s so important to keep our traditions going.”

While children threw confetti-filled eggs and others mingled, the evening’s major draw had people lining up down the block. For many, it was all about the food.

“It is the only reason we come,” one woman said while waiting in line.

Former event chairman and co-organizer Buddy Langford was waiting in line with the masses. A veteran of the event since its inception, Langford said what actually kept people coming back wasn’t the food at all, but the people.

“It’s the associations you make,” Langford said. “It’s the friends and the community. You get to meet a lot of people. You get to know their faces.”

Included among those faces are more than 300 volunteers from the community. Barbara Lynch and her husband have helped with the annual event for three decades. The couple agreed the event was not only a lot of work but also a lot of fun.

Money raised during the two-day fiesta supports Spanish classes at St. John’s Catholic School, 1208 Ky. It also goes toward scholarship funds for Mexican descendants in local high schools and to community projects throughout the city.

Today’s festivities will begin at 6 p.m. with live music and dancing that will last through 11:30 p.m. Admission to the fiesta is free.

Comments

redwombat 3 years, 5 months ago

If you're going for the food get there early. Last night the enchiladas were gone by 7:00 and the tamales by 7:25 when I got the last one!

grammaddy 3 years, 5 months ago

Enchiladas were gone by 6. I think you have to be one of the first ten people in line to get one. Great food but I wish there were more things for the kids to do.

clovis_sangrail 3 years, 5 months ago

According to their website, they do not serve enchiladas on Friday. I suspect they just put that 'Sold Out' sign over the enchiladas to keep people from asking for them.

But they had plenty tonight. Nature's perfect food. it is a proven fact of medical science that every nutrient needed to support human life is found in a St.John's Fiesta enchilada.

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

St. John’s Fiesta needs to be responsible and make certain South Park is cleaned up each night. People leave St. John’s Fiesta loaded down with food on paper plates; go across the way to South Park; munch away and then seemingly just leave their trash for other's to pick up.

This morning at 7am the park was filled with such litter.....the vast majority of it from St. John’s Fiesta. Terrible demonstration of being a "responsible neighbor."

stjohnsfiesta 3 years, 5 months ago

Each night we have several volunteers who go around the Fiesta grounds and to the park to clean up trash. We will try to do a better job of picking up trash from the Fiesta and anyone else's trash tonight. Thanks!

Fred Mertz 3 years, 5 months ago

Answered like a responsible mature neighbor. Thumbs up!

blogme 3 years, 5 months ago

On Saturday night at two different times, we noticed volunteers from the festival going through south park near the grounds picking up litter.

Fire_all_politicians 3 years, 5 months ago

We certainly wouldn't want those who deposit the litter in the park to accept some responsibility, now would we.

geekin_topekan 3 years, 5 months ago

"People leave St. John’s Fiesta loaded down with food on paper plates; go across the way to South Park; munch away and then seemingly just leave their trash for other's to pick up." ++++ So Lawrence, Ks. has trashy residents and its St.John's fault? The last time I looked there were trash cans aplenty in South Park.

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

Nobody's "blaming" St. John’s Fiesta. The situation does underscore what a bunch of slobs Lawrence is made up of.

However, when an organization puts on a fund raiser and utilizes public space in some way, shape, or form, they've an obligation to make certain the entire area is trash free. In fact, it appears that the City of Lawrence even provided free lighting just for eating purposes in South Park, just behind the "Fiesta". Affiant further sayeth naught....

Fred Mertz 3 years, 5 months ago

Haha.....spin it however you'd like but you did blame St. John's.

You suggested they are not taking responsibility for the litter when you wrote, "St. John’s Fiesta needs to be responsible and make certain South Park is cleaned up each night"

That is blaming them for the litter problem. Just man up and admit it.

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

Ethel picking on you a lot these days, or have you just been hanging around Lucy too long?

Fred Mertz 3 years, 5 months ago

Not at all.....Ricky and I been at the club having fun.

It is the idea of someone blaming a charitable event and then denying it when they get a little heat for it.

Alceste 3 years, 5 months ago

Here's the deal: If the "fiesta" wasn't going down, the slubs who throw trash on the ground across the street from the "fiesta" wouldn't be having no trash from the "fiesta" to thow on the ground. shrug The "fiesta" already checked into this matter and has stated (above) they're going to do a better job with respect to "policing" the public park. "Charitable event" or not, they do NOT get a free pass. In fact, it should be taxed....all "charitable events" need to be taxed as do all "not for profits" and that includes churches. I hope they're paying for the lights that I saw the City had put out for them, too.....; Now, Sit down.

stuart 3 years, 5 months ago

So is McDonalds responsible for cleaning up the bags I see in my parking lot? Or is KFC to clean the park when I see the garbage left behind at a picnic table? Just curious.

stjohnsfiesta 3 years, 5 months ago

The lighting on Vermont St. by the park we rent. The city does not provide lighting. Hope you all can make it out tonight! Thanks!

Fred Mertz 3 years, 5 months ago

Okay so now I'm confused. First you blamed Saint John's and then you said you weren't blaming them, but now it sounds like you're blaming them again.

Actually, I don't care that you blame them. You are entitled to your opinion and to express it here just like everyone else, but when you get a little heat don't back off and pretend that you aren't blaming them.

Adios mi amigo, yo voy a la fiesta ahora!

GUMnNUTS 3 years, 5 months ago

A BIG THANK YOU for all that work so hard to make this event happen. This is but one of the reasons that helps to make Lawrence a great place live. Felices fiestas a todos!!!!

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