During my six years with Alice Echo-News Journal, I have been privileged to cover the Cinco de Mayo celebrations in May including one of my favorite, Fiesta Bandana - which is synonymous with Alice.
Unfortunately, it had been dwindling over the last few years.
I was saddened to hear Fiesta Bandana was not going to happen this year and maybe not anymore.
The festivity was ongoing officially for 35 years since 1975 at the Veterans Park.
There will be no more lingering aroma of the homemade gorditas, tortillas and the sizzling fajitas and tripas on the grill. Or the sweet smells of funnel cakes topped with fruit and whipped cream…yummy.
What I'm going to miss most is the Miss Alice queen's contest where teenaged girls from Alice worked tirelessly on their floats and prepared for the pageant.
Some years, the contest had more than a dozen girls compete and other years, it had only a handful. Regardless of the number of girls in the competition, I saw the behind-the-scenes preparations the girls and their parents endured.
No more Miss Alice or Little Miss and Mr. Alice or the Baby Contest.
I'm also going to miss the parade and carnival. Last year's Fiesta Bandana didn't have a carnival. The carnival is a feature many families enjoyed and unfortunately the fiesta had been declining in attendance and booth vendors.
The talent contest always brought out some of the best talented children and adults as residents filled the sitting area to watch the participants sing, dance and perform.
A longtime committee member of Fiesta Bandana said part of the problem was the city not cooperating with them and they weren't getting the support or funds from the city like other events in Alice receive. (I know the city would dispute that).
Others have mentioned the committee wanted to do all the work themselves and didn't allow anyone to get involved and spread themselves so thin, and eventually got burned out.
Whatever the reason, it's hard to fathom that the Fiesta Bandana might not exist anymore. Generations have taken their families to the Veterans Park for good food and live music.
That was another reason why people enjoyed the Fiesta Bandana, the live music during which people were able to dance on the cement slab or just listen to Tejano, conjunto and country bands which highlighted the event year after year.
We as a community need to work together to keep the tradition of Fiesta Bandana going. I know individuals and would volunteer, including myself, who would be willing to serve on the committee.
Events in Alice are few and far between and it would be a shame to have this event come to an end.