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Fiesta Broadway Returns Sunday with New Civic Center Layout

By Eric Richardson with Ed Fuentes
Published: Thursday, April 22, 2010, at 11:22AM
IMGP1209 Ed Fuentes

Visitors walk down Fiesta Broadway's main Broadway corridor during the 2009 event.

Fiesta Broadway returns Downtown this Sunday, April 25, with a musical lineup heavy on norteño sounds and a reconfigured street plan that should reduce the festival's impact on traffic circulation.

The new configuration, which stays north of 4th street while adding blocks on Spring and Main, gives the event a much squarer shape. Previous events had stretched down Broadway from 1st to Olympic.

The event's focus on promotion in Spanish language media means it may not have shown up on many Downtown residents' calendars, but worth noting are Latin Grammy winners Alicia Villareal and Ana Bárbara. Also appearing is the San Diego based Latin-Funk B-Side Players, and Venezuelan Pop ballader Carlos Baute.

Most of the music on the festival's three stages leans toward those who like the Northern Mexican country music known as norteño, including acts with a more modern take. Nortec Collective, who appeared at the 2006 Detour Festival, combine techno with norteño.

The new footprint was taken at the behest of the city, which had heard numerous complaints about the impact the event was having on residences and businesses. "I think it's a configuration that does mitigate a lot of those impacts," said a representative of Councilman Jose Huizar's office on Wednesday.

Also benefiting is the festival's checkbook. City fees for the event this year are $56,234, down from an estimated $260,000 in 2009 and $253,000 in 2008. The city had waived all but $80,000 of those costs in those two years, but a newly passed special events policy forbids fee waivers. Huizar's office attributed the lower fees to more coordination between the city and organizers to lower city staffing requirements to those truly necessary. The new configuration also requires just 12 intersection closures, as opposed to 22 in past years.

Street closures will start with 1st street, which will close between Hill and Los Angeles at 7pm on Friday, April 23. Starting on Saturday at 7pm, closures will expand to include Broadway between Temple and 4th, Spring between Temple and 2nd, Main between Temple and 2nd, 2nd street between Hill and Main and 3rd street between Hill and Spring. All streets should be reopened Monday by 5am.

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