Girl, the festival last week was off the hook! You would have been so proud. First of all, let me tell you, hotel rooms from the entire radius around Corpus to Kingsville, were SOLD OUT almost two months in advance! People came from all over, I even saw a post from a group that flew in from Colombia! Needless to say, I couldn’t find a room for Friday night, BUT I wasn’t going to give up, and I kept stalking all the hotel websites and finally one room opened up at the Omni (walking distance,yes! thanks for that ) it was a sign, this was meant to be!
I was so excited the night before that I couldn’t even sleep! I ended up waking up late (I know, don’t yell at me) and raced to the airport, thankfully there was no traffic, no line at TSA and I arrived right as my flight was boarding…whew! After a short two and a half hour flight from Dallas … I checked in to the hotel, didn’t even go to my room, simply left my bags and headed straight to the festival.
It was my first time in Corpus Christi and as I walked along the sidewalk, with the masses of people, I could feel the universal buzz of excitement! In the distance I can hear a guitar and that cumbia beat… As I walked in, I caught the end of Nina Diaz’s awesome version ‘Techno Cumbia’…and the crowd shouting your lyrics “Muevele, muevele y alto…”
Since I am not from Corpus, I was not aware of the crazy weather and I showed up wearing a dress, trying to look cute in your honor (girl, I know don’t laugh) when all of a sudden the clouds begin to roll in and the wind picks up, it starts to sprinkle…but you know what, I thought ”I am a Latina, we can rough out the weather!”
Stefanie Montiel takes the stage and I am loving the style of her voice, she definitely was channeling her inner Selena, I think you would have LOVED her outfit, but maybe in purple 😉
She was so sweet and just very genuine with the crowd. At one point, she even took off her boots, because she said they were hurting. When a fan asked if she could them (her boots) Stefanie was super gracious and had the fan come up on stage to claim her prize. That was one of my favorite moments, I know you would have been super happy that the performers were so kind to all the fans!
The rain started to pick up and that didn’t stop Stefanie or the fans, we all kept right on cheering, umbrellas and all. Right as she started her tribute to you, Mother Nature let loose and I quickly realized I was wrong, I cannot rough out the weather. Everyone ran for cover, all social norms went right out the window! Girl I ran up to the first stranger with an umbrella and got under it and said “Hi, I am so sorry, I don’t want else to do!” It was really intense there for a bit, everyone just kept bouncing from tent to tent seeking shelter.
I could have sworn we were living in our last moments, but according to the locals, this was nothing. You would have been really proud at how quick the city and organizers took action though, they opened up the American Bank Center and had food vendors ready, music playing in the main stage area and keeping us safe! Looking back, it was really nice to see how everyone’s humanitarian side took the front seat and we all were just in it, together.
None of us wanted to leave, so we stayed. We all had a feeling the storm would pass as quickly as it came…and we were RIGHT! About thirty minutes later, the sun reappeared and we all poured back into the field, as we waiting for the big moment, when Chris would take the stage.
Selena, oh em gee! Ok girl, don’t get mad, but was I was drooling as soon as your man hit the stage! The entire place lost it! He is still as good-looking as ever, but when he plays, something happens to his soul. You know how it is, when he is one with the music; in that moment, where only you and he exist, time just stopped and we all felt it.
At first they did some awesome classic-rock cover songs, but later he brought the house down with the best guitar riff ever played, Bidi Bidi Bom Bom… swoon!
I screamed so long, I needed a break after that, so I went walking around checking out all the outfits, I took some pictures of all the girls wearing a “Selena” inspired look.
Then I came across Emily Rios, let me tell you, she had the “Selena” look on FLEEK! I say we give her the award for best costume! Next year you should totally do a contest.
The sun set, and I quickly raced to my hotel room to change out of my wet storm clothes. As I was changing in my room, I could hear the famous call of the Kumbia Kings! I ran back just as they started
A.B. always the professional, gave a heck of a show! He kept the entire energy of the set super fun, sexy and caliente. Oh man, you would have really been impressed with the female bongo player, I took a clip for you.
She slayed those bongos, and we were all shaking our booty’s to “El ritmo que traigo es azucar…” Man it was such a good time.
As they closed their set, I managed to crawl my way out of the crowd. I wanted to see the festival from a different angle. I went all the way to the back and watched as the entire audience swayed to the reggaeton cumbia beats of A.B and the Kumbia King All Starz, singing their jams, singing your jams…but then the famous intro began, Como La Flor…I watched everyone and I know you won’t believe me, but again, we all held our breathe. This was your song; it was like when they play the National Anthem at a sporting event and everyone stands at attention…
We all continued singing the chorus, into the night.
Finally, the moment I had been dreading all day came to pass, my phone died! I started walking towards the exit gate, but I had heard they were going to have a fireworks display, so I found a spot to sit at, and waited.
The evening had been so exciting, between the thrill of just being there, the adrenaline from the storm, to the high I felt from all the music, I was flying on cloud nine…and I don’t know why, but in that moment that I realized how happy I was, I immediately became so sad. (I know, I know) I tried to listen to you and be happy in that moment, but I can’t help it, there was something that overwhelmed me. The fireworks started and all the little kids were lost in the bright colors, “oh’ing and aw’ing. It was a beautiful magical ending, and just at that moment, I heard you say “How you doing Houston, Texas!” The famous Houston Astrodome concert clip, people in the crowd from Houston cheered back and then the entire place fell silent, as we watched the footage from your final performance; I could feel the knot creep up in my throat.
I felt a little silly crying in public. Here I am a grown woman, but I couldn’t help it. I think it’s because, as a little girl, I was a fan of the music and the image of you, but standing there now, I was older than you were when we lost you, and now the songs, the love story, the loss…everything was on a deeper level. I was tearing up not only as a fan, but a fellow sister, woman, and friend.
I walked home with the rest of the fans, full of love and having made new memories, but most importantly, we left taking a piece of you with us. Wherever we go, wherever we travel, we have your music and the Fiesta De La Flor to tell people about, keeping your memory alive. Siempre Selena. Selena Forever.
Until we meet again amiga, besos y abrazos…