Latino culture takes center stage at RodeoHouston
Mariachi competition adds bounce to Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
Updated 11:44 pm, Sunday, March 10, 2013
Anna Licona hadn't heard the music of Julión Álvarez or Los Invasores de Nuevo León before she bought tickets for the Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show, but it just seemed right to celebrate family and fun on Go Tejano Day.
A weekend-long mariachi competition and a concert anchored by Hispanic musicians were highlights for the Sunday celebration of Latinos in Texas that brought a record paid attendance of 75,305.
Licona sat on a bench outside the Reliant Center with Felipe Coronado, after starting the afternoon enjoying a variety of fare from the food tents.
"There's a lot to do, a lot of energy," said Coronado, who was attending for the first time with Licona and six others.
From the bench, they saw thousands who braved Sunday's initially wet weather - which brought between a quarter to an inch of rain to the area - as they walked from the carnival, shops and tents toward Reliant Stadium.
Quick to adjust
A mother and daughter held hands, both wearing pink shirts, boots and cowgirl hats. A confectioner seamlessly switched to Spanish when he realized his customer didn't understand the by-the-pound price he was rattling off for toffee.
Ticket scanners at the entrance gates kept plastic covers over their cowboy hats although the rain had stopped hours early.
Nearby, Gisselle Sanchez, 4, timidly showed off her new leather belt and a denim shirt with pearl snap buttons.
It was the girl's first year at the event, and she whispered excited observations into the ear of her friend, Alyzae Ramirez, 3.
"We wanted the kids to have fun on the rides and let them see the animals," said Gisselle's mother, Leslie Rivera. "It's just something we do every year."
The rest of the week should be dry and become progressively warmer, with daytime highs forecast in the lower 70s and nighttime temperatures varying from 40 to the mid-50s by the end of the week.