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
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
“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.