24th Minerpalooza biggest one yet

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Luis Barrio, Staff Reporter

It is estimated that the participant turnout for this year’s centennial Minerpalooza was in the neighborhood of 30,000-35,000, according to Christian Corrales, employer and community relations manager for the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.

UTEP’s annual pep rally, which is held the Friday before the first home football game of the season, was dubbed “The Party of the Century.”

The festival-like atmosphere of Minerpalooza has really catapulted itself over the years from being a university event to a citywide, community one. In its inaugural kick-off in 1993, Minerpalooza had about 1,000 people in attendance.

In early April, Student Life began holding focus groups in order to gain a clearer understanding of what students may or may not want to see
at Minerpalooza.

“I think one of the key components contributing to that success is the student voice,” Corrales said. “We always survey and poll our students. We get them in focus groups and ask them ‘what would you like to see?’”

According to Corrales, UTEP invested about $200,000 in entertainment, food and activities for families.

“This year, we invested quite a bit of money in attracting some musical headliners,” Corrales said. “Normally in past years, UTEP would contract local bands to perform on stage, but this year The Cataracs headlined the show.”

Singer Cristina Eustace, who graduated from UTEP in 2006, also performed. Eustace is a Grammy-nominated Latin music singer who is most famous for winning season five of Puerto Rico’s “Objetivo Fama 5,” a reality singing competition similar to “American Idol.”

For a second year, Minerpalooza was held in the P-9 parking lot due to the construction of Centennial Plaza. 

Although the location did not prevent the event from being a success, some students said that they want Minerpalooza to move to the new plaza once construction is complete.

Vanessa Daw, junior and pre-nursing major, went to Minerpalooza when it used to be held at Memorial Triangle.

“The first one I went to was a little smaller and it wasn’t as structured as it seems now,” Daw said. “This year it looked like it was more organized.”

The Alpha Xi Delta sorority had a booth at this year’s Minerpalooza.

“We’ve raised over $20,000 from our chapter here at UTEP,” Daw said.

Mikayla Rodriguez, freshman nursing major, attended Minerpalooza for the first time.

“I didn’t really know what it was or what to expect,” Rodriguez said. “I did like the DJ and I thought that was pretty cool.”

Luis Barrio may be reached at [email protected]