Annual ceremony could be held in Robstown

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

ROBSTOWN - Tejano R.O.O.T.S. board of directors toured the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds Wednesday to consider possibly of changing their venue for the hall of fame induction ceremony to Robstown.

"We are looking for a venue because each year we turn away 800 tickets," said Javier Villanueva, event chairman for the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame. "The city (Alice) has been talking about building a community civic center for the last five years, but it hasn't happened. I think this is a step in the right direction."

Villanueva, Joe Lozano and newly appointed president of Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Albert Martinez toured the exhibit halls and pavilion at the new regional Fairgrounds in Robstown Wednesday.

The Central Pavilion Arena can seat 2,000 individuals and the exhibit halls of 50,000 square feet each can be used to display the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. memorabilia from the museum.

The Banquet Hall at the fairgrounds is 20,000 square feet and can accommodate 1,200 people in a sit-down dinner for the induction ceremony.

For the last seven years, the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Noche de Gala's venue in Alice could only accommodate about 700 people and of those, half of the seats are reserved for the inductees and their families.

If the board decides to change their location and celebrate the gala in Robstown, the three-day event would start with a kickoff dance on Nov. 2 with the induction dinner on Nov. 3 and possibly keep the museum tour on Nov. 4 in Alice.

"Our loyalty to Alice has kept us confined," Martinez said. "Alice will always have the museum and they should be proud to have it. They can embrace it, but as far as the Tejano dance, we need to take it somewhere else."

After the tour, the trio was excited about bringing the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. induction to Robstown.

"I like it, it's one of a kind, you see this in San Antonio, but not this close to Alice," board member Joe Lozano said.

"We could charge less and go for volume."

The fairground personnel talked with the board members in a conference room and said by early next week they can develop a plan for their event and give them figures on the rental fees.

"I think we can make it work," Villanueva said. "We just need to work together and put together some numbers."