CATHEDRAL CITY – With 180 degrees of mountain vistas as the backdrop, the Fifth Annual Taste of Jalisco unfolded in stunning display of vibrant colors, fancy footwork, and Mexican music, and Mexican-inspired cuisine to nourish all five senses.
The festival had barely officially opened at 11 a.m. when vehicles started streaming into the venue. Throughout the day, an estimated 10,000 people were expected to attend, according to Jeff Hocker, event producer. The daylong festival was scheduled to culminate with a spectacular firework show.
Opening ceremonies included Cathedral City High School Folklorico, which is comprised of 40-plus dancers, Dinastia Charra Stallions and Performers, and remarks from Mayor John Aguilar, the first Latino mayor in the city’s history, and Riverside County Fourth District Supervisor and Chairman V. Manuel Perez.
Spectators, the young and young at heart, jockeyed for perfect angles to catch selfies with the dancers and stallions.
The Taste of Jalisco is designed to celebrate the 24-year-old sister city relationship between the cities of Cathedral City and Tequila, Jalisco (Mexico) through music, fashion, spirits, culture and cuisine. It is a time to recognize the strength in diversity, appreciate the similarities, and connect with neighbors and friends for better understanding, harmony and mutual respect, according to a collective statement of greetings from the City Council.
“The late Mayor Gregory S. Pettis played a pivotal role in this relationship and establishing this festival to celebrate this international friendship,” Aguilar said. “The city of Cathedral City named the Fountain of Life that flows in front of City Hall and the Rainbow Crossing by the Bell Tower in honoring his 24 years of service to our city.”
The granite used for the Fountain of Life comes from the state of Jalisco in Mexico.
But Cathedral City is not the only entity that cherished his great work, Aguilar said.
“Just this past January, the City Council of Tequila voted unanimously to establish, in collaboration with the Tequila Rotary Club, a Mexican Monument … in his memory.” Aguilar said. “This marvelous monument in front of a college recognizes his commitment to improving the lives of both cities. He truly believed in the philosophy of mutual understanding and respect, sharing best practices, and exchanging cultural arts, trade and agricultural tourism opportunities between both cities.”
The crowd applauded for the late mayor.
This year’s Taste of Jalisco featured two special guests:
- Jaime C. Hurtado, manager of Trade Delegations and International Business Matching for the Office of Foreign Trade.
- Hugo Rene Oliva Romero, First Secretary for Consulate of Carrera De Mexico in San Bernardino
“The Taste of Jalisco is very important because it show the governments working together, the cultures, the customs, and the artists,” Romero told Uken Report. “It helps improve communication and shows the culture and customs with the dancers, singers. Both cities support the activities.”
- Mayor John Aguilar: Cindy Uken
- Cathedral City High School Folklorico: Cindy Uken