Fiesta combines fund-raising, fellowship

CNJ staff photo: Helena Rodriguez Ray Gonzales shows off his 1951 black Chevy Deluxe Sedan, one of 28 entries in Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church’s annual fiesta car show.

By Helena Rodriguez: CNJ staff writer

Fellowship, fund-raising and food are what have made Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church’s annual fiesta a crowd-drawing success, and this year was no exception.

Fiesta chairman Sammy Martinez said the church was seeing a record crowd on Saturday. The three-day event, which continues at noon today and wraps up at around 6 p.m., has been held for more than 20 years and is one of the church’s largest annual fund-raisers.

“My main thing is to not just try to get the Catholic community, but the whole community, as well as our surrounding communities, involved,” Martinez said.

Martinez said food was a big draw to the fiesta as well, noting some people arrived at 8 a.m. waiting for booths to open. Booths served a variety of fiesta fare, from menudo, flautas and burritos to snow cones, carmel apples and hamburgers.

The Rev. Sotero Sena, the church’s pastor, said, “I have been here at this church for seven years, and the fiesta is about both fund-raising and fellowship.”

The three-day event began Friday night with a 1970s-themed variety show. On Saturday, games, music, food and a tent dance with Cielo are what drew a crowd.

The fiesta concludes today with car show prizes being awarded, bingo at 6:30 p.m. and a total of $5,000 in cash being given away, including a $2,500 grand prize, through chance tickets that were sold.

A new Clovis car club, Enchanted Memories, hosted the car show that has been a part of the church fiesta for the past five years and has seen its number of entries almost double this year. The car show drew entries from as far away as Amarillo, Hereford and Roswell.

“We have classics, originals, lowriders, muscle cars, bicycles, motorcycles and ragsters,” said Ray Gonzales, Enchanted Memories president. He noted all car show proceeds will go to the church and also said the new car club is planning several community service projects around the Clovis area.

Enchanted Memories will present such awards today for most original car, most customized, best overall, best bicycle and best muscle car.