Monday, March 17, 2008


THIS IS TO SHOW THAT LATINOS WILL NOT BE DIVIDED....and those who wanted-to should realize that Go Tejano Day is not only for "tejano-music lovers" its for all the Hispanic community including Central and South Americans and immigrants that do not benefit from the scholarship opportunities yet they do break the attendance record and consume thousands of dollars into the "Go Tejano Day"....with or without Tejano bands!!! Stop living in the past, new genres rise and die all the time...don't be surprised if they change the name to make it a more INCLUSIVE event!!! Change is great!!!


Demonstrators organized by VIVE Tejano-Houston protest against the rodeo's Go Tejano Day in front of Reliant Center on Sunday. Local Hispanic leaders are upset that RodeoHouston didn't book a Tejano act.

March 16, 2008, 11:36PM
Go Tejano Day thrives amid protest
Crowds flock to rodeo despite some Hispanics' dismay at representation

Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

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Duelo, Horoscopos shine for Go Tejano Day Protesters rallied near the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on Sunday, voicing discontent over what they say is under-representation of Hispanics at the event. But that didn't stop rodeo visitors from flooding through the gates of Reliant Park, setting an attendance record for Go Tejano Day.

The group, VIVE Tejano-Houston, three weeks ago urged would-be rodeo visitors to stay away this year, saying RodeoHouston should have hired a Tejano band to play on its main stage and needs to give more leadership positions and scholarships to Hispanics.

On Sunday, during the rodeo's Hispanic heritage celebration, more than 100 protesters in bright yellow shirts lined Kirby near Loop 610, next to one of the show's main entrances.

"The bands that are inside are representing Mexico," said one protester, Steve Rodriguez, 54. "That's not representing Tejanos."

But some of the sellout crowd of 71,165 people who packed Reliant Stadium to hear Duelo, a norteño band from Roma, and Los Horoscopos de Durango, an act from Chicago, did not agree with the group's mission.

"It's silly," said Amy Samaripa, a 30-year-old teacher who drives from her home in El Campo every year to visit the show. "I think they (rodeo organizers) should change the name from Go Tejano Day to Hispanic Heritage Day."

Several black lawmakers, including State Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, joined the Tejano cause this weekend, saying blacks, too, should play a bigger role in the show.

The boycott has not had a noticeable effect on attendance. Going into the show's third and final week, ticket sales for the rodeo competition and concerts are up 6 percent compared with the same period last year.

General attendance, which includes visitors who buy concert tickets and those who only visit the livestock show and carnival, was low during the show's first week, likely because of rainy weather, but has since picked up.

Saturday's general attendance, which included a nearly sold-out crowd for country singer Brad Paisley, hit 130,000 — more than any day in the past few years.

Tejano bands, which are a Texas product influenced by Mexican sounds and incorporate rock, blues, jazz and country, played on smaller stages Sunday. RodeoHouston officials did not schedule a Tejano band for the main venue because of its waning popularity and because other genres of Hispanic music sell more tickets, said Leroy Shafer, RodeoHouston's chief operating officer.

"The very vast majority of the Hispanic community knows that this is a subterfuge to try to keep a dying music industry alive," he said of the protest. "They're not buying into it."

VIVE Tejano-Houston, made up of Tejano musicians, local politicians and Hispanic organizations, has called on rodeo officials to grant more scholarships to local Hispanic youth and to diversify the rodeo's 17-member executive committee.

Rodeo officials counter that about one-third of scholarships already go to Hispanic students. And while there are no blacks or Hispanics on the rodeo's highest volunteer committee, that's because membership is based on years of service and financial contributions.


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