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Cinco de Mayo 042918

Apr 24, 2018|

AN INTERVIEW WITH NEAL ARMSTRONG, OWNER OF AXIOM EVENTS, WHO PRODUCE THE CINCO DE MAYO FIESTA, ABOUT THE FESTIVAL IN PORTLAND AND HOW IT BENEFITS THE NON-PROFIT PORTLAND/GUADALAJARA SISTER CITY ASSOCIATION.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

This is Matt Driscoll and Entercom radio Portland public affairs program I'm your blocks of and are you ready for a party next weekend the Cinco De Mayo fiesta kicks off on Friday at Tom McCall waterfront park on the show we've got everything you need to know. On the show this time I would like to welcome Neil Armstrong Neal is the owner of Acxiom event productions which is the producer of Cinco De Mayo in Portland this year Heather O'Neill. I thank Gary. So single mile it is coming up very soon we know it's there that the old joke witnessing go to my this year of course it's may fifth. On faxing good in my though. Is. Yes stayed down here in Portland Oregon and it is in fact three days it's both the fourth fifth and sixth. Main. It is big PS they're trying anywhere from sixty to a 100000 people. And it is hosted by the Portland Guadalajara. Sister city association. Which is a local nonprofit here dedicated to the cultural and economic exchange between Portland and Guadalajara. Gets singled in my I was definitely one of the biggest celebrations on the on the waterfront here in Portland. Absolutely it is one of I would say one of the cornerstone of fans here in. Or Elaine and it really is the first one on the waterfront that breaks up that hole events fees in that happened there along the along the river. I didn't realize it was the very first one mechanic kicks off the the waterfront season. That's correct yes this is. The one that'd been followed by the rose successful in the beer fest and the blues fest but this is the first one where people can really get out after that winner. Being inciting get out pretty huge huge celebration. It has been kind of I'm terribly cold winter modes it's certainly been a wet winter so this will be nice to be able to get out and do some celebrating in some nice weather hopefully. Well that's because that's really the hope they you know what that history is told us that come rain or shine people are ready to come out and as we. Obviously love a good sunny day we had the fortune of having that last year and so we had really really great crowd. And we have so many attraction that even if it it'll their rainy we're gonna have more than enough to do. For every. Tell me about some of the happenings it's in go to mile this year what can we expect. Well I would like to say that I'm really excited. For this opportunity. Two BD if interact around fingered a mile my company it actually in the event productions is one you're important and that's really dedicated to a stand. That focused on community and people and culture. And some of the events that we have include Portland Sunday parkway is. The bridge paddle. Portland marathon. Mississippi street fair and then now include a mile. And so what we're excited to do is that. Bring a focus to the culture in the community I think it a mile and you're gonna see that come out in. So many things that we have new at this as the guest this year. And so to begin win at what I can say is that we have. We made a purpose of in fighting the whole community into the event that this is the Oregon is the largest multi cultural event. But we really wanna use this year as our first year at the event directors. To highlight. And showcase that talent and the skills. Interest and just people. Are vibrant Latino community here port. You're really focusing on the community this year right. That's absolutely true and this is one of the foundation values that we have with this defense. Is that this is more than just a party this is more than just an opportunity to celebrate Cinco De Mayo but instead what can we do to. Bringing out the community and make this more of a cultural celebration and ever been before. And the way we believe we can do this is by engaging. All. All the community members called a nonprofit called people who were making a real lab statement here from the Latino community. And we want to invite him and showcase that men and give them an opportunity to help Portland about what they're actually who. The deciding factor in taking us into the mile on this new community direction. Well personally hasn't it been director this is exactly that type of offense to that I love. I started as a volunteer coordinator at the community cycling sinner. Fifteen years ago. Something like that. Since then I've really put a focus on. Working with the volunteers. Building up volunteer crews and man using their strengths and their numbers to do really amazing thing. And so as this crew and as they group professionally I just found that we could do larger and larger being. And so we've grown into these events like Mississippi street fair which is 40000 people. On Mississippi avenue or poorly it's funny part ways which she is. Try to advance and 125000. People and you know highlight. The parks and streets of Portland now either roll opportunities we had we have volunteers Jimmy had nonprofits included there. And then we got this opportunity Persico DiMarco. And it's been a wild ride I didn't know fully what we're getting into it as a long and respectful history and they're so much has been done and succeeded. And we get we get to Trier anything. And so again to my experience and through the working community that I built. Here are important land there we're able to take those lessons and take those. Take those programs and and apply to a whole new paint which is this into the map yes that port the Portland Guadalajara sister city association. Congratulations on harnessing the volunteerism of Portland because there are people around here that love to volunteer. All part of it really is one of the outstanding cities in the US every single year he's shown that core lenders just love to contribute blood to give. And as a result there are so many incredible opportunities in Portland true. Q I reached that. And so I look at the number. Things that people can do on any given week in both to be active Indian community. But simply do something really neat to. And that's what we offer with the volunteered to program here and that's one of the things that we looked to invite people and so calm in how without first few hours to get a key shared the need it and for free. See how that doesn't really serious way but they needed just celebrate with everyone else. And so that's that's how we're making that ask one Christian and it's time but in all it's gonna be close to 500 volunteers. Through that we're also looking at ways that we can. We're quick community organizations. Where if we invite them in and help them be a part of this. That some of their supporters will come and help us as well. And so together we make this sort of that big. You know community. Event that together events and Nike is now where it but that's exactly. How we do is just like giving people a way to be a part to own and help really guide is moving forward. Are you still looking for volunteers for this year's in go to mile celebration. Absolutely yes we are always looking for volunteers and it is a funny thing about volunteer recruitment is that a lot of people look for it whether and looked to see if it's gonna be a good day. And we appreciate that it's it's a sunny day we'll have more volunteers and we can imagine but we definitely would love to have people. Note that we do need a volunteer trainer shot. And dad you are whether volunteer at the hotel you know there is there is. But our volunteers have a really. Fun opportunity here. One of. Program that we have is supplies that they Nina so we have expanded it we have added. More features to ridden that includes. The cultural crap from Mexico which they have done for a long time. They have face painting but we've added or face paint every kid should get a face painter dirt get their faith and oh yeah that's what that looked iffy. And so on top of that we have a whole area in back that has. A place for families to arrest. You know festival can be very overwhelming I have two children myself sometimes we need a place. Justice didn't collect ourselves and so as part deposited Ninos we have this area where damage can say no beef and hula hoops and gains and they'll be at private space for nursing mothers in a place hurt. Parents to change children. And so. That's one of the ways that volunteers can get involved as helping with bats including Stanley Cup police to have fun and you connect it to cultural crafts. Additionally. And I'll chat about this later is we have this whole artist an area. Where we have invited. These artists and from Guadalajara. Who come down with a large amount of an aircraft they've been working not. And city are very exquisite they're beautiful in Chinese or handcrafted. Handcrafted pieces that. That the artist since themselves dismayed and so we bring them and we invite them to. Sell it showcase what they've done. Well for these eleven artists out of that are going to be there. Where it they don't always know English. And so one of the volunteer opportunities we have for our bilingual volunteers. Is to help speed that connection between net. And so if people have questions or people wanna hear this story is about their craft. These volunteers can bedecked go between in and be able to talk with the artist in and with our public this really fun. If you get to be very excited about the beautiful being in and tell people about a battle. What's going on and slept during U volunteer program. And so we have several of these we have student assembly and an. Skinny we have a student assembly we have information Booth we of people helping at the gas again this is about 500 volunteers over three days to make this happen. And what I would like to ask everyone has to go tour web site. Cinco De Mayo dot ORG. Include the volunteer button there's tons of options and you can see exactly what is available. So it kind of spells out what kind of volunteers are looking for. Absolutely and it's easy to register at all online it's just a few clicks of a button. And then your information and it will be sending you all the Ito you need a including. What you get freer you know referred volunteering which again is at peace shared. Some knack for some real love and hugs from every one and a thousand thank you it's so much on the volunteer. And just a deep dive into some some culture. That'll be fantastic. It really will be and what are the things that. We are trying to do is bring more culture and bring more respect and bring more. But what the Latino community. Here in the Pacific northwest has to say. And so it's not all done it once it's not gonna be a total change this year but some of the things that. Where are looking to do is. Bringing education for example. And so we have the international reptiles rescue. From here in Portland. Which is gonna come in have this large tent for three days. And this this bilingual educational experience for kids and adults. It is so wild that they have so many fun. Critters and creatures that they're gonna bring on the you can come and look at read about learning even passion hole. So some of them where. Asking and to bring Carter. Insects and reptiles from Mexico. And so. We don't know exactly what can it be very depends on. The animals themselves. We may be looking at it tortoise Mexican iguana Mexican torrential Akeelah monster. An alligator. Only read Al these really cool things that you get a look at him and and experience initiative really find interactive. Bilingual. Experience. Got something that you don't normally get in Portland that's pretty great. You have Cooley counts. Additionally. We have has. Our food area with each food vendors trim from around here that are highlighting all there. Cultural cuisines. So one of the focuses we have is that we're. On our on a yet to decide that we are exclusively have being Mexican and Latino fruit. And we have tried to ask him pick out different. Groups that are gonna being. I'm cooking and presenting there are like that their family recipes and their culture's cooking and so. Not only do we have all the dealerships truth for Mexico and all the regions of Mexico. But we also have food from El Salvador and Colombia and Venezuela. And so this is a fun opportunity if he archer coronary getting shot at coming out of cooking out drinking for large crowds. And we're really excited to have them it. Tell me about some of the entertainment we can expect it's into the mile this year. What entertaining it is really way yes I heard about this is a celebration of this is all about entertain me it is all about music how. And the first thing that I love to talk about is the mariachi few that they a lot of our. This is so world famous mariachi keeping it. And mariachi. Originates. From. Guadalajara and unleashed a region. And this bandit is still one that plays in their army air performance tenor. They come at any incoming for years and years. And buried their amazing. They are good to be performing seven times this yes sir on Friday Saturday and Sunday morning noon and night. Additionally they're gonna be joined by the ballet folklore a code in Roxio. Which is a group here from forest growth and need ferret that beautiful dancers which spared. Cole troll the traditional. Dresses that that they dance they glow in the swirled and are joined by the news Indians series and and they all get together and and the mariachi is in the dancers and vicious incredible show by Georgia and at seven time. We have is we have to them again for the full week it. And here's another cool thing here's here's a fun little. Community aspect that we decided to bring into that. That recently there Reza aid mariachi celebration. Here in town. Where a number of this school pure locally. That have mariachi programs Kurdish students were invited in. Two played together and there is a great mariachi band flown in from New York in the all they'll perform. Well from there what we're doing is we're inviting a number of those students to excel. And we're inviting them to come and play with a mariachi. They're gonna give up on stage having practiced a couple. Song and then that the world famous mariachi hit that they let us are and these local mariachi. Players there are gonna play together on stage in front of a huge crowd I can't wait this he had and so excited. That's and so specials can do love that. That's what they think yeah how that's and that's were hoping and we really. Being that isn't going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity for those kids in this family. And it just something fun that we can do because we have this huge yeah. Now on top of that we have. A full schedule of entertainment. For the weekend. Not only do we have the mariachi in the ballet focal Laura Cohn. But we have. The rip city boxing turn and where it's youth boxing two days. Amateur use boxing. And it's backed goes toward these kids when he large championship belt that's gonna be pretty cool. There's a number of other. Musicians and bands that are coming onstage throughout the weekend. And that includes our headliners. Which on Freddie is on the peak load up a seat to go on Saturday is you aren't you are still norte dame and send a bond that they. These are great crooks in this is all part of the entertainment that comes with coming to the fiesta. To a sound like something not to miss this year. Really not and I think that anyone who has been to this fiesta. Is gonna see a whole new yes. Anyone who hasn't come. This is going to be an opportunity to. See something you see something develop. From what's been her rich tradition. In Q what we hope is. Something more something really. Spy and from a book Latina community. And it's from. Place for starting here. You know we've mentioned summit the areas some of that aspects of the culture and when not that we. That we per our audience but it now there is there's so much more bad you know we've spoken about the positive and Ninos for the kids. Well there is going to be fun for the adults. One programs we set up this year is with Jose Cabrera though and they art and a host 810. Now include a mile has. You know especially in today's culture spit seeds state media been really eat and you know drinking and that culture of drinking and finger demand with that and there's so much around that that. Is is beyond what we can do clearly but what we've chosen to do is. Incentives celebrating that vertical you know that sort of drinking style we're making our story about what is tequila. Why is it's special because tequila from the region police go the door Guadalajara is this is. This is a train that is really just part of that people and history there. So instead of it it being a message around let's drink margaritas. What we'd ask Jose river to do is come up with an experienced an educational experience. That take people through. Process in the field and the people who make Aquila in the police a mask Mexico. And so there's going to be this display it'll show what it. What it's like in this field of digging up these big blue it got raised in. And cutting off between Kenya the big lead and then turning that into Sheila. So of course we're gonna have margaritas but we want everyone to experience. What that is to make that tree and at what Portland love you know and that really is. About yacht intake process today. And what everyone goes through this this gallery which is all ages everywhere can learn. Then there is an adult only. Hate to think section where there's an opportunity to try for a different tequila. And so people get to learn and taste the difference between a man made hole and a blonde girl and I that posada. And through that again they can start appreciating. More the process in the case particularly vicious not about hey let's just go have more. That sounds like a very unique experience too that's that's. Really great to have to just have a learning experience about all of it. It really is and we were we want defined we we know that include a mileage is all about fun and they're so much of that to be included here. But we also just when people to have a moment where they can read a little better learn a little bit more it just kind of been reaching an all that they're seeing. So additionally. With and that. Which and that experience. And we and that's why we think this can go to my guess is gonna be really worthwhile. Is because our artists are just Toronto area. Now as I mentioned earlier this is this place where we've invited. These artists scenes from Guadalajara. Various. Eleven of them are so. And what we do is we host and in this area there were calling artists an area. Now would be to our large tense twenty feet law you know they're they're absolutely huge in. The bears several tables. Filled with all there they're cracks in the walls are lined with their blankets and there traditional. Wares and whatever else there it. Well one of things that we're doing for the front side is. We created an. A spectacle and a total art. He is going to be amazing. Know what this is is that one of the artists on those Mariano. Colosio's. He is a fantastic artist and when we got this position. Last year he approached me. And he said you know he's been dreaming of this idea. Creating this huge beautiful space with the New York City area. And having these ten. Be. Filled with just art. Art about Mexico art about the history in the culture. And the stories of Mexico. And we thought this is a great idea and it with such a good idea that I decided to. Bring Mariano appeared. And it for six weeks he is living in my home with my family with my children. And now back in the garage he is creating these masterpieces. And these are also part two. They are 22 feet long they are eleven feet high they have a speed in the middle where they can go to any artist who they're going to be featured. But 26 tents. Is just by British is beautiful it. I can't I can't do it justice here heard on the radio by that it is just how all of colors and stories. And images that that are just so striking. And I I have just the absolute pleasure and blessing of being able to wake up everyday just see this being. Created in my backyard by Mariano OK okay let's have this summer but in my. I do when it comes on the Ceylon tea. Hey it's it's one of the region become if you don't it's become productive outcome for the mariachi and in. Come to CE this is that this is going to be one of the most beautiful artistic things that we're gonna eat this. Neil we have Justin just a couple of minutes left let us know exactly you wind and where and how we can get to all the information bouncing go to mile this year. Careers eight while the Cinco De Mayo fiesta presented by the Portland Guadalajara sister city association. Is this may fourth fifth and sixth. It's down on Tom McCall waterfront. On the river Portland Oregon. You can find all the information about how to get there how much it is. And in all the entertainment attraction better web site which is cinco de in my note dot ORG. Think go to my nose doubtful. Archie well it's going to be an absolutely fantastic event this year thanks so much Neil. You're very welcome thanks so much it is scary. We were talking today with Neil Armstrong owner and Acxiom even productions which is a producer of C go to my thanks against them. Mitchell's skills is an Entercom radio Portland public affairs program. I'm Gary blocks and if you're involved with a nonprofit or public affairs organization force you have an idea for an upcoming show I'd like to hear from you. This is a microscope PDX dot com and submit your ideas you can also go to the station's website can submit your information there. Thanks for listening to metals gold and enjoy the rest of your weekend.