Mariachi melodies, along with tequila tasting, are soon to spill over the hills and crevices of Puerto Peñasco…and out across the sea by the harbor. Martin Martinez, President of the local Restaurant Association (CANIRAC), along with Laura Palacio from Sonora Turismo, Javier Muñoz of Puerto Peñasco’s Convention and Visitors Bureau (OCV), along with Fausto Soto, Municipal Secretary, and a number of event sponsors and organizers recently met with local press to clarify some points concerning the much talked about Tequila Fest 2012 coming up June 16th (from 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.). Check here for a view of the background setting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9q1O5Sv8Hw&feature=plcp
In addition to celebrating the spirit of the agave plant and Mexico’s traditional mariachi legacy (recognized by UNESCO in 2011 as a World Heritage element), the Fest will also christen a new venue here in town – the Cerro de la Ballena Amphitheater. The natural amphitheater, on the land of Beto Terveen, is literally tucked into Whale Hill, with views across the harbor and masts of local shrimping boats. Martinez, whose office is at Terranova located just across from Cerro de la Ballena, tells us for some time now he would look over at the natural crevices rising along Whale Hill and always imagined some type of projection reflecting off the rocks. Hand me a shot, cue the lighting and add classics from the “golden age” of Mexican films, which will decorate the background behind the stage during the family oriented mariachi concert and tequila tasting extravaganza. Palacio, local director of the Sonora Turismo office, confirmed “This is a festival…for the entire family!”
With the amphitheater presenting a new music venue for Rocky Point, an important consideration has been around parking and overall logistics. Martinez explains, “We are arranging to have parking in the area known as La Bajada (where fishing boats can normally be found during the week – to the right as you head into the Old Port)…as well as in empty lots located just before entering the port (also on the right).” He added there will be security at the parking areas. From there, it is a short 5 minute walk up the street (rounding the corner by Mario’s Organic Coffee) and up a small incline. Palacio adds, “We are also planning to have golf carts, with handicap signs, for those requiring assistance in getting from the parking area to the venue.”
Just to be sure I was on the right page, I welcomed another shot of Tequila Peñasco Reposado as dusk crept in and colors began to light up the rocky curtain behind us, providing a sample of what we may expect during the Fest itself. The line-up for the evening of June 16th will include regional mariachis from Puerto Peñasco, Magdalena, Mariachi Estrella de Plata from Hermosillo, as well as ballet folklorico groups, local restaurants (who will be selling dishes at the event – not included within ticket price), tequila tasting (of course), and headliner Rafael Jorge Negrete and his own mariachi from Acatitlán, Jalisco. Rafael is the grandson of Jorge Negrete, who was among many treasured actors and singers from Mexico’s golden age of film – among them Pedro Infante and María Felix (who was married to Negrete). Ajúuuuaaa!
For the tasting part, we were told the selection will include a variety of tequilas from the Tequila Factory, among them Tequila Peñasco, Roger Clyne’s Mexican Moonshine, and even Sonora’s traditional Bacanora. *By the way, so no one misses out on other evening plans, local sponsor OD Bar from Calle 13 is also planning on having a telecast of the anticipated boxing event that night (Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs Andy Lee).
Against a rocky background, 50 “VIP” tables for 10 people each will be set up nearest to the stage, with other tables further back for general admission. Reservations are being accepted for 10-person tables (2500 pesos or 250 per person [approx. $20 US per person/$200 US a table) “VIP” tables will each be provided with a bottle of tequila to add to the fiesta. Reservations may be made directly with Martin Martinez at the Terranova offices, or contact organizers at: (638) 380-5496 or cell: 638-113-4527. General admission is 50 pesos/person at the gate (no pre-sale tickets). Children under 8 are free. Entrants will be given wristbands which are good for the tequila tasting part of the “event grounds”, and a number of local restaurants will have booths and will be selling their dishes*(each restaurant will set their own food prices – not included in ticket). Laura Palacio wanted us to be sure we told people the first 200 entrants will receive a free beer (no, nínos no), as one of the other main event sponsors is Corona. More information at www.tekilafest.com
So, lift your glasses and we’ll plan to see you at Tequila Fest 2012 here in Puerto Peñasco….. Salud!