By Mila Besich Lira
Every year volunteers at the St. Francis Church prepare for months in advance to celebrate the annual Fiesta’s Patrias. The event is one of the parish’s largest fundraisers and definitely requires the most volunteers. For months in advance, members coordinate items and volunteers for their respective booths, including the creation of over 4,000 cascarone (confetti eggs). The theme for this year’s event was “Joy in Serving”.
The two day event began with a parade on Main St. This year the church recognized Yolanda Guzman as the grand marshall. Guzman has been a steadfast volunteer to the parish as well as the community. The parade included several entries including the Knights of Columbus and several past Fiesta Queens who submitted entries. Award winners in the parade were: First Place: Queens Float entered by Marcella Garcia; Second Place: Copper Triangle and Third Place: Baile Folklorico Alma de Superior. Winners were awarded ribbons and prize money.
Following the parade, more than 170 cars lined Main St. for the annual car show. Car show organizers promised a bigger show than before and they honored their promise. The car show had car clubs visiting from as far as Las Vegas. This year the show was dedicated to Joe Castaneda. Castaneda was a main organizer with his wife Pati. Castaneda passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. Winning the car show categories were:
Best of Show Bike: Ruben Joya Phoeniquera of Classics Car Club
Best of Show Motorcycle: Ray Maldonado of Tiempo Car Club of Las Vegas, Nevada
Best of Show Truck: Ernie Ortega with 1977 Silverado
Best of Show Traditional: Miquel Valenzuela with 1963 Chevy Impala of Klique Car Club of Phoenix
Best of Show Bomb: Perlz Pearl with 1948 Sleek Master of Phoenix
Best of Show Car: Jesus Olivera with 1983 Cadillac from Groupe Car Club of Tucson
Most Members Award went to Desert Kings and Queens Car Club.
As the car show closed up in the afternoon, parishioners of St. Francis attended the Fiesta Mass where the Fiesta Queen was crowned. This years fiesta queen was Marisa Estatico, daughter of Steve and Sonia Estatico. Princesses for this year’s fiesta court were, Keana Torres, Alessya Green, and Malaya Martinez.
The celebration lasted late into the evening with entertainment by Angie Gomez, J Ryder Silvas, Bernadett Munoz, Baile Folklorico Alma de Superior and Los Implikos. The entertainment schedule was coordinated Billie Jo Villaverde and was MC’d by Manny Guzman V. A new twist to the much loved cake walk were bonus prizes. Winning the bonus gifts were:
First Place Panda Bear: Josie Contreras
Second Place Mini Mouse: Jessie Sanchez
Third Place Harvest Center Piece: Frances Zavala
Fourth Place Apple Pie: Tony Solis
The Fiestas continued into Sunday with performances by local band Los Implikos, closing out the evening was the announcement of the winners of the annual raffle: First Place ($500.00): Crystal Solis; Second Place Television Set: Betty Sanchez; and Third Place iPod: Lisa Martinez.
See more photos online at copperarea.com.