What a difference a year makes. In May 2012, the first annual East End Street Fest was held on Cinco de Mayo along Harrisburg Boulevard, with the lovely and talented Norma Zenteno serving as the headlining musical act. For the second annual entry, the venue has shifted to the brand-new esplanade that runs along Navigation Boulevard in the heart of the East End, although instead of celebrating along with sister Zenteno, we pay tribute to her memory and legacy.
At least that is the plan, according to Frances Castañeda, president of the Houston East End Chamber of Commerce. The festival will begin with a musical tribute to Zenteno, who passed away in February.
"She touched so many people with her music and soul, we are honored to dedicate the East End Stage as a tribute to Norma," says Cantañeda.
"We are truly honored and blessed for this wonderful gesture," says Norma's brother Javier by phone. "My sister was a legend, and she loved the East End. She will definitely be there in spirit."
The remembrance will kick off a day's worth of music and entertainment from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m, featuring top-notch local artists such as Avizo Band (featuring David Marez and Chente Barrera) and Nick Gaitan & the Umbrella Man. Morena, winner of the East End Idol contest, will also be on hand for a performance.
The night will end with a block party featuring the tropical sounds of the Bombón DJ Collective, which includes Gracie Chavez, OG Bobby Trill, Navo, and Panchitron, assisted by Azteca dancers, street performers, and a group from the Freneticore Dance Theater. By then the sounds of zydeco, tejano, country, rock, cumbia, salsa, hip-hop, and musica latina will have rung through the streets.
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The ultimate goal of the festival is to celebrate the art, heritage, food, and culture of the East End. The festival's move to the fall will hopefully ensure a pleasant atmosphere for the family event in which the treasures of the neighborhood will be shared with the rest of the city. Also on hand will be community leaders Felix Fraga and Yolanda Black Navarro, who will be crowned Rey y Reina (king and queen) of the East End.
MUSIC SCHEDULE Bud Light Music Stage
11 a.m. Austin High School Marching Band 11:30 a.m. Tribute to Norma Zenteno 1 p.m. Young Mammals 2 p.m. Hunter McKithen & the Offenders 3 p.m. Crowning of Rey y Reina 3:30 p.m. Aviso Band feat. David Marez, Chente Barrera y Chris Q 4 p.m. Block Party feat. Bombon DJs
East End Music Stage
11 a.m. Mariachi youth group "Juvenil Serenata" 11:35 a.m. Ambassadors International Ballet Folklorico 12:30 p.m. Los Pistoleros de Tejas 1:30 p.m. The Love Tones 2:15 p.m. Houston's Best Taco Contest 2:30 p.m. Los Guerreros de la Musica 3:30 p.m. Morena (East End Idol winner) 4 p.m. Ruben Moreno 5 p.m. Nick Gaitan & the Umbrella Man 6 p.m. Sister Sister
The Second Annual East End Street Fest is scheduled for 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday, October 19, at the 2600 block of Navigation Boulevard. Admission is $7 for adults; children under 12 years old enter free. METRO will provide a free park & ride from the Amegy Bank Parking Lot, 4001 Gulf Freeway (formerly Finger Furniture). Free parking for all attendees to the East End Street Fest. A portion of the event proceeds will benefit the Community Family Centers. For more information, call 713-923-3305 or visit the East End Street Fest Web site.
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