Juan Gabriel imitators and lip syncing, performance by Banda Machos highlight event

INDEPENDENT FILE PHOTO - A free mechanical bull has been a fun addition to Fiesta Mexicana for the past few years.Woodburn celebrates its 55th annual Fiesta Mexicana this weekend, Friday through Sunday. The event, newly designated as an Oregon Heritage Tradition, offers three days of celebration of Mexican culture in Woodburn.

This year, notable features include a tribute to singer Juan Gabriel, games of Loteria (Mexican-style bingo) and a headline performance by Banda Machos.

In 2017, Fiesta held a singing competition for Selena impersonators, and this year Fiesta will continue honoring famous Latin singers with Juan Gabriel tributes each day. Juan Gabriel, who died in 2016, was a Grammy-Award winning singer who recorded 15 albums and sold 20 million records. He will be celebrated by a professional Juan Gabriel imitator who lip-syncs and a national Latin music artists who sings in Juan Gabriel's style. They will also be joined by Yesenia Zazueta, one of three winning singers from the Selena impersonator competition last year.

Fiesta has a wide array of bands performing this year, including norteño musicians Amigos de la Sierra, Tejano/norteño musicians Grupo Obzesion, and a band of young men from Portland, Zexta Alianza.

Closing out the last night of Fiesta will be Banda Machos, an award winning group originally from Villa Corona in Jalisco that plays quebradita and ranchera music. Banda Machos had been performing since 1990 and has produced more than 20 albums.

Fiesta Mexicana traditions, including the Fiesta Parade, car show and soccer tournament, will be returning as usual. The Fiesta parade starts at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Woodburn Aquatic Center and ends at Legion Park. This year's parade grand marshal is former mayor and longtime volunteer Nancy Kirksey.

Fiesta's ever popular car show starts at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Legion Park parking lot and ends at 3 p.m. Categories include lowriders, classic cars, trucks, bicycles and tricycles.

The Fiesta Soccer Tournament is presented by Silverton Medical Center and features youth and adult teams competing on the field at Legion Park.

Fiesta will also feature more than 20 food vendors offering a variety of savory and sweet Mexican foods. Also be sure to check out the Mexican artisan craft booths, the Lucha Libre wrestling matches and carnival rides.

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