Fiesta spins a colorful city block party
When a southbound Union Pacific train rolled through Woodburn at midday Saturday, Aug. 7, the timing wasn't exactly the best for the Fiesta Mexicana parade.
The crossing guard at Lincoln Street clipped one of the parade's vehicles, prompting the comparatively long string of freight carriers to stop in the tracks, essentially severing the Fiesta procession, the bulk of which stalled west of the tracks on First Street until train officials could make sure everything was OK, and the freight could continue rolling.
A northbound train came crawling through town roughly 15 minutes later. Taking a cue from the southbound incident, it rolled through slower than normal, giving the parade another hiccup.
But the incidents amounted to barely a blip in the Fiesta Mexicana 2021 radar, which kicked off on Friday evening, Aug. 6, with a car show cruise-in, music, dancing and a coronation. It headed into full tilt Saturday morning as the parade rolled out at about 11 a.m. Start to finish the procession was about a three-hour progression (train stoppage included), from the first vehicles with City Administrator Scott Derickson and Grand Marshall Luis Molina in the lead. The final string of regal horses at the rear of the parade clopped past Legion Park a few minutes short of 2 p.m.
In between there was a bounty of entertainment and a ton of sweets flung to the streets; low riders galore, a hop float, masked demons, a state representative, members of the armed forces, fire vehicles new and old, colorful regalia and even a kid's car inched through to entertain the thousands spectating from the sidewalks.
Among the early vehicles was an open-topped SUV with the fiesta's "reina," Aide Robles.
The queen's court — Robles, Brenda Martinez, Jael Garcia, Eveline Morales and Jocelyn Mendez — gathered the night before on the First Street Plaza gazebo when Robles was crowned, and Martinez was named "primera princesa," or first princess.
Saturday Farmer's Market in the First Street Plaza near the Metropolis benefitted from the event, seeing more foot traffic than a normal Saturday. The mix helped provide for a multicultural extravaganza few places, if any, are equipped to host as Woodburn.
The fiesta continued at parade's end as the festivities gravitated to Legion Park and soccer action was in play up front while a variety of vendors and activities unfolded under the fir trees.
It was a shorter fiesta than many of past years — the event dates to the early 1960s. But it was a welcome one, and it was a key event to help usher Woodburn and the region into what is hoped to be the beginning of the post-pandemic era.
See photos of Woodburn Fiesta Mexicana 2021 on the Woodburn Independent Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/WoodburnIndependent
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