La Parada celebrates five year anniversary

Julia Hettiger, Staff Reporter

Every first Friday of every month for the last five years has been one where local musicians, artists and enthusiasts gather together to celebrate the art scene here in El Paso as one. Not many local events last long enough to become a regional tradition. One, however, has managed to persevere and will celebrate five years of providing El Pasoans with the opportunity to support their local art and music scene.

La Parada, a monthly event hosted at The San Carlos building located at 501 Texas, will be hosting their monthly artful congregation on Sept. 4 marking their fifth anniversary. Anthony Flores, an organizer for La Parada, said the celebrations have come a long way over the years.

This month, La Parada will feature music by Astronautica, DOT, Fettish, Jess Rox and Young Handsome as well as art from the Punk Rock Flea Market and Francella Salgado. There will also be a burlesque show with performances by dancers Khaleesi Love Skye, Madame Pearl, Abby Ripper, Betti Mae Wiggle and Feisty Baudelair.

The Real Young Handsome, one of the performers lined-up for La Parada on Sept. 4, said with this being the five year anniversary of the event, the performance is going to be “special.”

“It makes it a unique performance because this is the first time I have the opportunity to be involved with La Parada,” said the artist. “I’m super grateful.”

Alejandro Morales, synthesizer player for Fettish, said it is an honor to be able to be part of this event with such talent. The bands’ La Parada event will be their last performance as a band.

“We heard a lot of good things about the event,” Morales said. “It feels great to have been asked to play. The line-up all together sounds awesome. It’s going to be a great show.”

“The event is an ongoing arts, music and social party that has been going on for five years,” Flores said. “We are always getting together, there’s a group of us that put it on, and during meetings and collaborations we all throw in ideas, there are no bad ideas, and pick and choose the coolest.”

This month will be different than the other months because the event will feature an all-female lineup.

“This month we are honoring women with an all-female lineup, so all of the visiting artists and musician will be women,” Flores said.

Flores said although there has been much improvement and progression in La Parada events, they still represent their grassroots beginnings.

“Everyone involved do it because they love the arts and bringing it together,” Flores said.

When the first La Parada took place, all of the artists and musician brought in were local and not many people showed up to the event. Now, La Parada has secured attendees and performers coming in from around the country.

“This time around, we have two people coming in from out of town, but we’ve had people come down from LA, Austin and Detroit,” Flores said. “Since the first one, we put it together so we can have something different for El Paso, and the very first one was unique in the way it was presented.”

Although La Parada has been taking place the first friday of every month for the past five years, Flores said they did not realize it would as successful as it is.

“It’s so neat and special because we didn’t think it would turn into five years,” Flores said. “Sometimes, we look at old posters and think about memories, and we’ve all become so close with one another. Some people have met their future wives and have had babies, and we’ve turned into a unique gathering over the years.”

Flores said La Parada attributes their success to the artists and musicians who dedicate their time to the event.

“The people, the artists, the ones who sing, we wouldn’t be doing it without them and the event wouldn’t have continued,” Flores said. “We’re highlighting the artists here, and we want them to embrace and feel the love.”

La Parada plans to continue as a monthly event for years to come.

“We’re growing into it,” Flores said. “We are continuing to do it, and we need support to justify it and give us motivation, and we are trying to learn from it as much as we can. It’s a fun environment. There are no overbearing egos and it’s a good place to come and enjoy life.”

Julia Hettiger may be reached at [email protected]