Saturday, August 28, 2010

Brawl Instigated By False Rumors That Ayala Cancelled Mexican Fiesta Appearance In Milwaukee

Photos by HNG

Rumors and tempers flare at Mexican Fiesta 2010 on Saturday night

By H. Nelson Goodson
August 28, 2010

Milwaukee - On Saturday, a brawl between numerous men ignited a half hour before Ramon Ayala would appear at the Harley-Davidson stage at the Mexican Fiesta, inside the Henry Maier Festival Park (Summerfest grounds). Security personnel from the Latino Peace Officer Association (LPOA) and Summerfest security immediately neutralized and controlled the area. Two suspects were detained and escorted to a secure area. One of the LPOA security officers was yelling "get him off me" as he moved forward and the men hung on him.
LPOA officers and security are highly trained to handle any situation at the festival and most of them are law enforcement officers, according to an off-duty Milwaukee Police Captain enjoying the fest.
A rumor began circulating that Ayala had cancelled, but he arrived along with his band.
Mexican Fiesta which runs until Sunday rarely cancels an act and has gained the reputation as the largest three day Mexican festival in the Midwest. Ayala appeared after 9:00 p.m. and played until 10:30 p.m.
No one else was reported injured, but expensive beers began flying all over the North-West Harley-Davidson stage area.
Throughout the night, Milwaukee Police, Summerfest and LPOA security had a busy night and took numerous people into custody for various offenses. By the Miller stage at least three women and several men were handcuffed and escorted to a processing holding area. One person had to be taken out by a portable emergency vehicle unit.
About 11:30 p.m., three police squads and a prisoner transport van had their emergency lights on to calm and regulate traffic and people leaving the festival from the midgate on Chicago Street to beat the crowds exiting after midnight. No major injuries were reported by police or Mexican Fiesta officials.
A stabbing was reported by police at the 600 E. Chicago Street near Mexican Fiesta. A 14-year-old male teenager was stabbed after an altercation with a group of teenagers. He is expected to survive and is in stable condition. Police are looking for the suspects. Police could not confirm, if the victim was leaving or heading to Mexican Fiesta Saturday night.

Mexican Fiesta 2010 new logo.

This year Mexican Fiesta introduced their new logo depicting Summerfest's smiling face, but adding Mexican flavour by having two green avocato halfs as eyes and a red jalapeño chile pepper as the smile. Mexican Fiesta has attracted the largest attendence on a Saturday with Ramon Ayala, David Lee Garza Reunion with Jay Perez, Ram Herrera, and Marcos Orozco, Sonora Dinamita Internacional and Sonora Santanera USA. An added attraction this year were Danzoneros por siempre A.C.
Last Friday, Prince Joyce and Montez de Durango attracted a large attendence, especially when the weekend weather forecast is sunny and in the mild 80's degrees.
People from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Texas, Indiana, Michigan, Mexico and from around Wisconsin make their into Mexican Fiesta very year as a tradition to meet up with maturing friends and family members.
There was an array of traditional Mexican food, entertainment, Mexican artisians and crafts from Mexico.
In brief history: Mexican Fiesta was the spin-off of Fiesta Mexicana, which began as a South side street festival in the early 1970's to help generate scholarships funds to help Latinos/as pay for college tuition. Fiesta Mexicana had been run by several groups, the first was Latin American Union for Civil Rights, second by a local LULAC Chapter and then finally taken over by the Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation, Inc. (WHSF), who opened a new facility this year at 2997 S. 20th Street. WHSF has provided more than $800,000 in scholarships to students attending college, since it took over Mexican Fiesta in 1987.
Many of the original volunteers and organizers continue to participate in organizing today's Mexican Fiesta.
It was created by Latino community educational activists who were originally involved in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) takeover of Chapman Hall and other parts of the university on August 27, 1970. That year, there were only 14 Hispanic students attending the university compared to 25,000 White students. Latinos wanted equal access to higher education.
"In Milwaukee many barriers existed blocking their paths to higher education. Their language and cultural distinctness were frowned upon, and they had limited access to information and few professional role models. Discriminatory treatment was the norm," cited from Myriad Magazine UWM 1990.
Latinos succeeded in gaining access to UWM and the Spanish Speaking Outreach Institute (SSOI) was created in 1970. Then it was renamed to the Roberto Hernandez Center in 1996. The SSOI was established to help recruit, counsel and advice and to retain enrollment of students at UWM.
Today, the 40th Anniversary Committee and members of the Latino community will be celebrating the 40th Anniversity of the UWM takeover and 40 years of Latino student and community activism, including their accomplishment to providing the opportunity and access to higher education for Latinos. A banquet and celebration will be held on September 18, 2010 at the UWM Student Union Ballroom, 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The dance is free and opened to students and community from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. For more information, to reserve a table call 414-229-6156 or visit website

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