Let the Cuban Festivals Begin!

Hola, hola, Coca-Cola!
Kikita here, reporting live from . . . ok, not live. But here comes the full report!

This may get a bit convoluted, but it will still be fun, I promise!

Last Sunday, April 19th, a new Cuban Festival was being held in downtown LA. Of course I had to be there.
Mami & Dad were excited to go, but I knew they would probably get tired before I would, so I had hired La Sheila to come with me. Pobrecita had to cancel at the last minute, so we had an extra ticket.

I called un amigo Africano y musico, Kaima. The brave soul agreed to come and listen to hours and hours of live Cuban music. (Honestly, I think he agreed to come because he was hoping for some rico Cuban food, but that's not important right now.)

Outside with kaima  

If you live in SoCal, you know it was the hottest day of the year so far. Bueno, we had to line up outside, but my people were troupers! They took pictures of each other and made the best of it.

The festival was held in a newly refurbished nightclub in an alley in downtown LA. Personally, I felt very cool participating in the whole thing. It was very impressive when you first walk in. Sofas to sit on, the smell of Cuban food wafting through the air, linen clothes and white hats everywhere, the excitement was practically tangible.

Stage shot

I could barely contain myself as I'm introducing Mami to some of my Cuban musician friends, they were soooo thrilled to finally meet "La Mama de Kikita."
I made sure Kaima had his promised Cuban food (media noche, empanada, y un pastelito) and Mami had a place to sit.

Could I have picked a more perfect place? I don't think so.

Mami, tan Cubana que es, made friends with the ladies sitting next to us. One lady imparticular happened to mention that she had a beautiful son with blond hair, blue eyes, single, and a little older than me, the mamas made the betrothal official right then and there.
Ladies and Gentlemen, meet my mother-in-law-to-be, Adriana. =D

Amy and adriana  

After what feels like an eternity, the music starts. Mami & Dad start to dance (it was cute) and Adriana jumps in. When they start to play the classic, "El Bodeguero," Mami gets all excited saying, "I was JUST thinking of this song today!!"

Mami and dad

A few dances later, they were done. It had been a long, hot day already and they were anxious to get home (as I had anticipated).

Kaima and amy

They left me (oh! and Kaima) to enjoy myself ourselves until the very last song . . .

. . . And then some. There was an after party, but that's about the time I stopped taking pictures and danced without stopping.

I must say, there are moments at these festivals where I am practically bursting with Cuban pride.

Bandera cubana

This one was fun, and I'm sure it will only get better as the years go on. In the meantime, it served as a lovely pre-amble to the upcoming festival this weekend. I went last year and can't wait to go again! If you haven't gone, go. If you don't want to go the whole time, that's fine. Get there in the afternoon and stay til the end. The big names are always at the end. I'm telling you, it is so worth it.

I'll be by the stage starting a conga line and celebrating being Cuban. ;-)