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A Miner-Tastic Minerpalooza

Annabella Mireles
Sultanes del Yonke won the Battle of the Bands competition which included two weeks to record at Genuine Reference Studios.
UTEP’s annual Minerpalooza returned for the 33rd time, taking over the parking lots outside the Sunbowl Stadium. With fan-favorite events like Battle of the Bands and Pete’s Playground also making their return, students, alumni and community members came together to commemorate the beginning of the semester.

Past, present and future Miners celebrated Minerpalooza by listening to musical acts, playing games and enjoying the fun ambiance. The 33rd annual Minerpalooza took place Sept. 15 outside of the Sun Bowl Stadium. 

The night started off at 6 p.m. with tunes by event entertainer DJ Gumby. Attendees jammed out to the music as the night of festivities kicked off. After DJ Gumby’s performance, President Wilson welcomed everyone and then the UTEP Band, cheer squad and dance team got everyone excited with their enthusiastic pep rally.  

Battle of the Bands was the highlight of the night as returning band Sultanes del Yonke and newcomers Jett Black battled it out for the title and the free recording session at Genuine Reference Studios.

“We came to see the Battle of the Bands and Melancholy 10 perform tonight,” said education major, Leslie Jimenez and psychology major Matthew Chavez. “We love both bands performing in the battle of the bands, but we hope that Sultanes del Yonke wins.” 

Jett Black got the competition started and rocked the stage, but Sultanes del Yonke came with a vengeance. After losing to Melancholy 10 last year, they played their hearts out and became a fan favorite this time around. Sultanes took the win this year and were presented the prize by members of Melancholy 10. 

After the battle of the bands, last year’s winners Melancholy 10 returned to play again. Even though the power went out in the middle of their performance, they did not let that stop them from putting on a great show. El Paso originated band, Late Night Drive Home, then took the stage. The crowd went wild for their original songs and cool vibes. DJ Kitty Kash followed their performance and showed off her skills and dropped her best beats.  

“It’s been fun, I got to play with my band again in front of a big crowd,” said senior computer science major and drummer for Melancholy 10, Bert Villegas. “It’s great seeing everybody here enjoying live music and all the other stuff they got going on. I couldn’t be happier that Sultanes Del Yonke won. Even though we beat them last year, we always hoped the best for them, and it was great seeing them win this year.” 

When attendees weren’t listening to the awesome musical acts, they also got the chance to support student organizations. Student organizations were lined up across the parking lot with fun games for patrons to play. Some of these games included skull buster, pie a gamma, Mario Kart Tournament, frog flinder, claw game, Marines pull up challenge, rock climbing, mini putt putt, environmental trivia and much more. The games with the longest lines were the Catholic Ministry’s cup pong game and the basketball dunking booth hosted by the basketball team. 

Pete’s Playground was a fan favorite with the younger crowd attending Minerpalooza. Kids got the chance to play on multiple unique jumping balloons and slides.  

“I’ve been here working and supporting the NAHJ organization by running the jumping balloon here at Pete’s Playground,” said senior multimedia journalism major and NAHJ officer, Paola Marquez. “Pete’s playground has had a good turnout tonight, we’ve had a lot of families with little kids coming to our jumping balloon to play in it.  

The night ended with a chill performance by NJOMZA where she showed off her new songs. Miners of all ages enjoyed the event and attendees can’t wait for next year’s Minerpalooza.  

“The night has been awesome,” said Vice President of Student Affairs, Catie McCorry- Andalis, Ph.D. “Miner Palooza 2023 I think is the best yet. I think the students love it, we have a huge crowd here for the bands and I think it’s growing. Let’s have a great semester and a great year and go miners!” 

Alyson Rodriguez is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]; @alyson_rod1127 on Twitter. 

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About the Contributors
Alyson Rodriguez
Alyson Rodriguez, Contributor/Writer

Alyson Rodriguez is a senior at the University of Texas at El Paso, currently majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in leadership studies. She is a contributor at The Prospector. She joined The Prospector in the Fall of 2020 as a contributor for the Arts and Culture section and has now written articles for the sports and news section and has done podcast segments as well. After discovering her passion for journalism through The Prospector, Alyson has gone to intern at El Paso Matters, NPR Next Generation Texas Newsroom and the Texas Standard. 

Itzel Giron
Itzel Giron, Editor-in-chief
Itzel Giron is a senior multimedia journalism and creative writing student at UTEP. She started her journalistic career at The Prospector in the fall of 2021 as a staff reporter and is now editor-in-chief. Thanks to The Prospector and her tenacity, Itzel has had the opportunity to be an intern with KVIA Channel 7 at El Paso. Itzel is also a freelance journalist, and her work has been published in The City Magazine, Borderzine and Walsworth Yearbooks. After graduation, Itzel hopes to continue her passion of journalism by working in broadcast television reporting on politics, entertainment and news.
SalmaPaola Baca
SalmaPaola Baca, Contributor/Photographer
SalmaPaola Baca is a senior at UTEP majoring in engineering innovation and leadership with a concentration and minor in civil engineering and an emphasis in computer science. Her passion for photography enables her to be photographer at The Prospector. While a full-time student, she freelances while planning to grow her platform through travel photography. After graduating, she wants to pursue a master’s degree in architecture while working on her photography simultaneously.
Annabella Mireles
Annabella Mireles, Photo Editor
Annabella Mireles is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in digital media production and minoring in film. She is the photo editor at the Prospector newspaper and Minero magazine as well as owning her own photography business. She plans on pursuing photography full time.
Joel Molina
Joel Molina, Contributor/Photographer
Joel is a graduate creative writing student at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a photo contributor and began his career at The Prospector in 2022. He hopes to continue providing the world and its people with different forms of storytelling that will hopefully make their day to day lives better.
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