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Fiesta Broadway celebrates its 20th anniversary this weekend

April 24, 2009 | 12:49 pm

When the event that has become known as the AT&T Fiesta Broadway first started in 1990, organizers saw it as a way for merchants to push for downtown's revitalization, families to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in a safe environment and television station KMEX to increase ratings for May sweeps.

Twenty fiestas later, event producer Peter Bellas said the party is as big as ever. The event, which will take up a good swath of downtown on Sunday, runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Bellas sees it as a way for sponsors to reach a mostly Latino audience. But he said that part of the allure of the event is that it offers live music, is alcohol-free and family friendly --and it's free. "In this down economy," Bellas said, "free admissions events with those kinds of ingredients seem to prosper. We think that will be a big plus for us."

This year, musical acts at the Fiesta include El Chapo de Sinaloa, Paquita la del Barrio, Rogelio Martinez and Graciela Beltran.  Three stages will be set up in the event zone along Broadway.

More information on the event -- and how to get there -- are at its website.

-- Cara Mia DiMassa