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Fiesta preparations - Entertainment planned for Fourth

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By Mercy Lopez

Food, dance and music will fill Plaza Park sooner than originally planned. Fiesta organizers have added three groups to the entertainment lineup, and they will perform Thursday evening, the day before fiesta events were originally scheduled to begin

Inez Gallegos-Lujan will perform at Plaza park Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by Los Malcriados. Los Latineerz will take the stage from 8 to 9 p.m. Food booths will also be allowed to open from 6 to 11 p.m. Thursday if they have passed inspection.

This year’s Fourth of July Fiestas run through Sunday.

The Fiestas Mass takes place at 5:30 p.m. on Friday at Our Lady of Sorrows Church. This year’s queen candidates are: Madeli Arenivas, Chasity Gonzales, Estrella Gutierrez and Andria Mares.

Immediately following the fiesta mass a procession will take place to Plaza Park where the fiesta queen will be crowned by outgoing reina Julia Renee Fernández.

Other popular fiesta events include the parade starting at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the corner of Second Street and Mills Avenue and ending at Plaza Park. The parade route is south on Second Street, west on Baca Avenue, south on Sixth Street, west on Douglas Avenue, north on 12th Street, and west on Bridge Street until the Plaza. This year’s parade grand marshals are Las Vegas bankers Ray and Joyce Litherland. Senior citizens will join the Litherlands as they make their way through the parade route.

As always, numerous musicians will perform at Plaza Park.

Headliners at this year’s event include Jerry Dean, Meadow City native Gonzalo, Darren Cordova, and Sorela. Some of the local bands providing music entertainment include Fire N Rain, Jake Marquez y Grupp Firme, Antonia Apodaca, Savannah Lujan, Justin L’Esperance, Gabriela Tafoya, along with numerous other local and area performers. For a schedule, pick up a copy of the Optic’s Fiesta Guide.

This year’s veterans program takes place at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Plaza Park. Special honorees are the Bataan Death March veterans.

Another highlight is the 31st annual Fiesta Run, which starts at 7 a.m. at the San Miguel County Fairgrounds on Hot Springs Boulevard, north of Las Vegas.

This year’s fiesta poster design winner is Kim Reed-Deemer of Las Vegas. She is a two-time fiesta poster award winner and this year’s design features a traditional attired female with a bright Zia symbol. She said her inspiration for the poster came from a young woman riding in a float that featured various folklorico dancers during last year’s parade.

This  year’s event is scheduled to include plenty of colors, traditions and fun for the whole family.