Pacifico Dance Company accompanied by Mariachi Monumental de America entertained the large crowd at the De Colores Art Show last Sunday. Entertainment was provided throughout the day in front of the California Oil Museum. Photo by Don Johnson

De Colores Art Show draws large crowd

April 23, 2004
10th Annual De Colores: Thousands enjoy Main Street cultural festival
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesDe Colores drew thousands of music and art lovers to the California Oil Museum and Main Street – A.K.A. the Main Stage – for Sunday’s 10th annual cultural celebration.“Is this awesome or what?” was the only comment from De Colores Founder Xavier “Big X” Montes, whose distinctive white Panama hat was the only way to spot him in the huge crowd of celebrants, both local residents and those visiting Santa Paula for the event.“It was (Santa Paula California Oil Museum Director) Mike Nelson who asked me five years ago if I wanted to move De Colores from the Depot to the museum. Yes!” said Montes.Mayor Gabino Aguirre acted as Master of Ceremonies for De Colores, and noted that Vice Mayor Mary Ann Krause and Councilmen Ray Luna and John Procter were also in attendance. Councilman Rick Cook was out of town or he would also have been celebrating, said Aguirre.City staff helped with De Colores, which has expanded over the decade beyond Montes’ wildest dreams, noted Aguirre.“May the art and sounds and music fill your hearts!” Supervisor Kathy Long told the celebrants.“Five years ago, I had no idea the streets would be filled like this,” said Nelson, who credited Carmen Guerrero for her tireless efforts in ensuring that De Colores got wide pre-event marketing exposure.“I want to thank all the artistes; this started out as an art show but now music and dance are also included, arts close to my and everyone’s heart,” noted Montes, an award-winning artist and musician.Crowds milled throughout the museum to see the work of 41 noted artists from throughout Southern California, while outside the street was filled with those enjoying the Mercado, Children’s Corner, music and dance.
“This is just great,” said former Mayor Al Urias, sitting in a folding chair – attendees were urged to bring their own seating – while watching the headliners entertaining for the day.“It’s just a great day in Santa Paula overall,” noted Bob Salas, a Santa Paula High School Trustee.Dedicated as always to the late farm labor civil rights leader Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, De Colores lasted a full eight hours: the world renown Pacifico Dance Company – accompanied by Mariachi Monumental de America – thrilled the crowd.De Colores started with the traditional Azteca blessing by Ray Pinedo and Grupo Nahui Ollin. Montes was joined by guitarist and vocalist Alberto Rodriguez for boleros and rancheras and songs by 9-year-old Yaminna.The hugely popular Conjunto Macuilxochitl de los Hermanos Herrera performed music from the Huasteca region of Mexico, followed by Conjunto Tenocelomeh performing the vibrant sounds of jarocho music from the Veracruz region of MexicoThe crowd got to its feet to dance to the music of J-Lo’s own Conga Room house salsa band Orquesta Son Mayor, one of the best in the Southland.The Mercado featured a variety of vendors offering items ranging from fine art to folk art, purses to posters, metal art to regional clothing and everything else in between.“De Colores rocked, there’s no other way to put it,” Mayor Aguirre said at Monday’s City Council meeting. “It was rich with cultural arts, dance and music that ordinarily people would have to pay a lot of money to see. There were thousands of people there and I knew that some did not have that kind of money,” to enjoy the roster of entertainment. “Good for Carmen and Big X!”

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