Pictured: One of the many contests held at Saturday's Fireworks Fandango was the watermelon-eating contest. MAURICIO JULIAN CUELLAR JR.

Event marked with contests, fireworks

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

Local residents wanted food, fun and fireworks, and they received all three Saturday at the Jim Wells County Fairgrounds as the Fireworks Fandango came off successfully, despite light rains early in the day.

There were several games at the Fandango in which children could participate, all of which were supervised by city lifeguards and volunteers of the parks and recreation department.

Alli Leal, 7, has a strong arm, and enjoyed showing off for her friends at the Pitch In To Win game.

"I really like to throw hard," Alli said. "It's no secret how I do it. I punch my sister Raven all the time. She's 13."

Even the game assistants had fun working with the kids.

Marc Joseph, 18, just graduated this year from Alice High School.

As a lifeguard for the city, Joseph is ready to help with any activity, whether it's MHMR activities or parks and recreation.

Joseph said he works wherever he's needed.

"As a lifeguard, we're sent by the city to help out at several different events, besides just lifeguard duties. Working with kids is an experience. My younger brother is a handful, and I've learned that working with children teaches you the meaning of patience," Joseph said.

Children played a variety of games Saturday, along with a watermelon eating contest and a seed-spitting contest.

Visitors could also participate in egg toss contests, jalapeno eating and bubblegum blowing events There was also music by groups like Indomables, Justice, Grupo Fusion and Jesse Marroquin, as well as a fireworks display towards the end of the event.

Pablo Ruiz and his wife, Alejandra, were at the event representing their Agape Restaurant in San Diego.

Although business was slow in the beginning, by early evening, customers were lined up for the gorditas, fajitas and other savory items from the Agape booth.

"We try to make the food the best anywhere we go," Ruiz said. "There are more things to work with inside the restaurant, but the food is the same, and the taste is the same."

Agape travels to about six to eight events a year, such as Cinco De Mayo celebrations and the annual Fiesta Bandana in Alice where their gorditas have placed highly for the last 10 years.

"We've had people as far as Laredo come to our restaurant after eating our food at an event. Whether it's the county fair or Tejano ROOTS, if they like the food out here, they go to San Diego," Ruiz said.