The Fiesta Royalty committee recently hosted an organizational meeting. In attendance was Sally Cope of the Arkansas Valley Fair, the Arkansas Valley Fair Royalty, committee members and hopeful candidates and their parents. This meeting marked the reorganization of Fiesta Royalty, absent from the 139-year-old Arkansas Valley Fair for 13 years.
Organizers Leon Valencia and Tracy Cordova told those present about themselves and what they hope to accomplish. Valencia and Cordova have known each other since school days. Both went away but came back, Valencia most recently. Valencia has had businesses or worked in Miami, Austin and Nashville. He has also worked in the Miss USA/Miss Universe beauty pageants. They hope to bring back to the Arkansas Valley Fair a showing of the Latino culture. Raffle tickets were distributed.
Committee members are Valencia, Cordova, Juanita Hinkhouse, Rosa Ramos, Janelle Balicki and Rebecca Ramirez. Their sponsors are American Legion Post #8 (platinum), Tommy Valencia V-spot entertainment (gold), Paty Saltero (silver), Jennifer's Hair and Nail Studio (silver). Judges for the contest will be Juanita Hinkhouse, Rosa Ramos, Janelle Balicki and Rebecca Ramirez.
Judging for the queen will be as follows: 20 percent interview, 20 percent speech (2-4 minutes), 20 percent talent, 10 percent evening gown, 10 percent impromptu question, 20 percent ticket sales. For the princess, prince and junior princess, decision will be based on ticket sales, $1 a vote. Cope said a place for turning in tickets will be announced, for the convenience of the candidates and the organizers.
The culmination of the event will be held on Aug. 17 at the fairgrounds Southeast Pavilion. The Koshare Dancers will perform at 2 p.m. At 3 p.m. the eating contests will be held: jalapenos (Hanagan Farms); watermelon (Hirakata Farms); and enchiladas (who can eat the most in 10 minutes). From 5 to 7 p.m. the Fiesta Royalty contest will be held, with the performance and essay contests and crowning of the royals. From 7 to 7:45 will be the raffle ticket drawing immediately following family entertainment. Prizes will be given for all three contests. From 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. entertainment will be provided by DJ Tommy Valencia.