Thank Goodness It's Frida(y)

July 22, 2016

Things I am currently thankful for: Wednesday's unexpected 60 second rain shower, the consequential lower temperatures (aka 98 degrees because Texas Summers are no joke) as a result of said miracle, Trader Joe's Espresso Pillows (seriously go look them up because I am almost considering quitting coffee for these bad boys - key word: almost), being able to take today off from work, and that we finally made it to Frida[y] (you see what I did there? No? Okay, I guess I'll explain.)

Frida Kahlo is known for her colorful up-dos and bright ensembles, but more importantly (and why she has been my source for constant inspiration) she is known for her strong beliefs and courage. Her life was far from easy and you saw that in her art. You saw her passion, her fear, her pain. She painted what was in her heart, no matter what the current popular opinion forced upon not only the art world but her world. Frida broke boundaries and is the role model who will always be alive in my heart.

The weekend after Frida Kahlo's birthday, the Frida Festival Committee hosted Frida Siempre: Presenté (San Antonio's first annual festival honoring Frida Kahlo.) The event was sponsored by Bedoy's Bakery, The Brick Marketplace, Cha Cha's Restaurant and Michelle's Patisserie. The festival was held on Saturday, July 9th at the Brick Marketplace at Bluestar (in Southtown). I had high expectations for this event and let me tell you they were more than met. This event combined the love, admiration, and respect for Frida that lives in not only the hearts of Frida's supporters throughout history but also in the vast San Antonio community who were in attendance. Honoring her incredible spirit, the festival showcased a salon-style art gallery, a handmade mercado (market), fashion, music, performances and culinary traditions (basically everyone in attendance was in awe of this experience.)

In addition to the actual festival being such an amazing success, the turn out was unbelievable. The amount of people who attended was so surprising, especially considering how minimal the advertising for this event was. To be quite honest, the space was a bit cramped for the amount of people, but when you are sharing your love for Frida the close quarters aren't what matters (fyi: the committee has promised a larger venue space for next year's festival.) At the end of the day, I would like to send a huge thanks to the Frida Festival Committee (Lady Base Gallery, Las Ofrendas, Que Retro Arts & Viva Vegeria) for coordinating this beautiful celebration. I can only imagine what they will come up with for next year's festivities.

After leaving Southtown with full hearts and thoughts of flower crowns dancing in our heads, the Friendship Festival and Street Dance was calling our names.

As soon as I had heard that Piñata Protest would be performing at this festival it made it into my handwritten calendar (that's how you know things are really serious.) If you are from San Antonio or have lived here long enough, you are probably familiar with Piñata Protest. There's just something in the spirit of this band, no matter if you're a die-hard fan or just enjoying the music, they have a way of not only connecting with the audience but also effortlessly connecting their audience with the music. Needless to say this band was the perfect headliner for Inner City Development's festival.

Alvaro Del Norte, the lead singer, could be found, before their performance, grabbing a drink at the beer garden and chatting with neighbors and fans over Frito Pies and turkey legs. Meanwhile, festival-goers flocked to the stage to grab their spot for the show.

Before introducing Patti Radle, co-founder of Inner City Development, Alvaro told his fans how much it meant to him to perform for this organization. He explained how Inner City Development had helped him and his band over the years (as he waved to his parents who had drove down from Dallas in the back of the audience.)

Patti took the stage to say a few words of thanks and appreciation before Piñata Protest entranced the crowd with their dance moves and unique Punk lyrics (enticing fans to start a mosh pit that eventually turned into cumbia dancing.)

Days like these are definitely on my never-ending thankful lists. I'm thankful for music, and food, and art, and the San Antonio community I call home.

If Frida Kahlo and Piñata Protest aren't the epitome of San Antonio culture, I honestly don't know what is.

What are some of your favorite local events where you live?

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