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Labor Day Weekend Events continue despite COVID-19

By La Prensa Staff


ADRIAN, MI/GIBSONBURG, OH: On Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, La Familia Mancha Entertainment hosts a drive-in music concert in Gibsonburg, Ohio.


“This is a first-ever attempt at trying to do something a little different and something that may be the   new norm, I feel,” said concert organizer Jamie Mancha II. “Just trying to get everyone back together since there’s been no real concerts or dances in the area regarding the kind of music we like to listen to.”


The concert will occur in Gibsonburg, at the Mancha family property, 3717 County Road 69. Parking spaces will be marked and available on a first-come, first-serve basis starting at 5 p.m. The cost is $20 per carload. Families may bring their own food/beverages.


Mancha expects there to be a tailgate atmosphere pre-concert, because live music will begin at 7 p.m. and run until almost midnight. Popular Tejano group, Los Hermanos Villegas, based in Adrian, Michigan, will be the featured entertainment, playing on a pair of truck trailer beds.


Jamie Mancha II y familia

The Villegas family has been very active in the Tejano industry, including being an integral part of the Midwest Tejano Music Awards, 1991 to 1997.


“We’ll have a little area roped off and set aside for a dance floor. There won’t be an actual hard floor, but people will be able to dance in the grass if they want,” said Mancha, emphasizing that social distancing is strongly recommended and gathering in groups will be at each attendee’s own risk. He’s suggested people bringing their own grills.   


Even though the event will have its own 21st century spin as a COVID concert, Mancha admitted the event harkens back to his Mexican ancestors, when similar events were held in available open spaces and everyone danced in the dirt and the grass, wherever they could.


“Back in the days of my grandparents and even great-grandparents, this is how they would do it. They would prop up a stage in someone’s backyard and they would have their dances, or bailes, out there and people would dance in the dirt,” he explained. “They would move furniture out of the way if it was in someone’s house and just dance wherever they could. We’re kind of going back to our roots as well.”


Mancha stated a lot of Labor Day events were canceled, leaving a gaping hole in the calendar.

“People are a little wary about going into a large dance hall or venue where there’s 200, 300 or even 400 people,” he explained. “I think it makes people a little uneasy about the whole thing.


So, drive-in concerts may be the new norm. I know through some of the major Mexican bands that we listen to, this is their big thing is these drive-in concerts. They’re finding an open lot or a big parking lot and doing a socially-distanced outdoor concert kind of thing. I figured we’d step outside our comfort zone and try to do something like that up here as well, make something happen for people who have been dying for something since late last year.”


Mancha stated he has heard from people as far away as Chicago and mid-Michigan. He also expects people to attend from Defiance, Fremont, Findlay, Willard, and Indiana. His goal is to attract 100 carloads of people. If this event is successful, he hopes to do another drive-in concert in early to mid-October.


Let’s see how many bring their own Low-Riders.


Club Taino, SQACC present drive-by Pig Roast, and you don’t have to chase ‘el cerdo’


_The fourth annual Pig Roast, sponsored jointly by Club Taino Puertorriqueño and the Sofia Quintero Art and Cultural Center (SQACC), is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 4, but pre-order dinners will be curbside pickup only outside SQACC, 1225 Broadway, Toledo, to conform with COVID-19 regulations.


“We talked about it, and we were completely against canceling the event, because people really enjoy this event, said María González, president of Club Taino. “So, we did some tweaking and, like everybody else, decided we’d live through it.” [Unfortunately, the Club cancelled this year’s annual picnic, honoring Puerto Rico’s Constitution Day in July].


An adult meal costs $15, while child meals are $12. Meals will be distributed Friday, Sept. 4,

5 to 7 p.m. Meal tickets can be purchased by credit card in advance through the SQACC Facebook page. The two groups share proceeds from the event, which typically sells 75 to 100 meals.


“They are welcome to stick around in the (SQACC) gardens and enjoy the food out there if they want,” said Ms. González. “They can take it home, they can eat it in the car, or go over to enjoy the gardens. They are welcome to have a little picnic, of course, socially distancing.”


The dinner menu stays consistent, with roasted pork, arroz con gandules (Puerto Rican rice with pigeon peas), yucca with garlic mojo, and SQACC signature cookies for dessert. For an additional cost, “to go” alcoholic beverages are available for purchase, with a limit of two drinks.


According to Ms. González, organizers didn’t want COVID to kill a tradition, because it becomes hard to bring back an event once it’s gone. She stated it’s not only a good way to kick off the Labor Day holiday weekend, but serves as a lead-in to Hispanic Heritage Month. 




Copyright © 1989 to 2020 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09/01/20 15:50:57 -0700.




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