LETTER: Adding color to the fiestas

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By Sergio Quintana

Every year there are two big events that make me miss Las Vegas: the electric light parade in the winter and the Fourth of July Fiestas.

They are celebrations unrivaled anywhere else in the country.

This year I missed the fiestas a bit more because I noticed through Facebook that quite a few of my high school friends were going to be making a pilgrimage back to Vegas.

I also missed a spectacle: a rainbow decorated float with George Michael music and people dancing.

I would love to have seen how that float went over in Las Vegas. I’m sure lots of people recognized the songs and danced right along. Others probably knew a few of the people and swelled with pride for the statement they were making.  

And others may have been disgusted by the audacity of a small group of people to stretch rainbow colors across a float, sing, dance and be proud of who they are. I mean, really, to have the nerve to flaunt the joy of being out in the open, especially during an event dedicated to celebrating the very fabric of what makes Las Vegas such a unique community.   

Nowhere else in the country does a parade of Spanish Conquistadores, a sheriff’s posse, fiesta royalty, and  tricked out low riders seem not just normal, but something special. Each of those items on parade are icons of Las Vegas history and pride. And each one is beautiful.

For everyone who witnessed the spectacle of a rainbow decorated float, they may not have noticed that they saw something historic. They saw a group of people proudly walk into the sunlight and shine. As colorful as Las Vegas is, it’s great to know that a new hue has been added to the sparkle of the city.

Reading through the online comment section in the Optic, I noticed at least one person was not happy to see the rainbow colors. That person said they felt sick and called it the worst thing children could have seen. There are probably quite a few others who felt the same way, and that’s OK.  

Change isn’t always easy, but it happens anyway.  

The first part of getting over your sickness is seeking help.  The people on that float, and lots of others are probably some of the most open-minded people you could seek help from.  

And don’t worry, last time I checked, rainbows, pop music and people being honest about themselves were not bad things for children to see — especially at such a beautiful event like the Las Vegas Fourth of July Fiestas.

Sergio Quintana

San Francisco, Calif.