MONTE VISTA — Monte Vista’s second annual Cinco De Mayo Festival was a family-friendly street event hosted by the OptiMystics Citizens Action Network, complete with 36 vendors, food trucks, face painting, a bouncy house for the kids, and much more.
Children young and old alike were seen walking and skipping up and down the streets with snow cones, and painted faces, enjoying the slight breeze and warm temperatures. DJ Pete Garcia provided music at the event throughout the day. Many local businesses also offered discounts and specials.
“Any time you see this kind of activity, whether it be out at the park or downtown here, this activity is just amazing," said Ken Hamko of the OptiMystics. "To see how we are growing, and for us to be a part of it, and have that much input into the growth of all of this, it’s just amazing.”
Monte Vista City Manager GiGi Dennis attended the festival and said people looked like they were having fun.
"It was great witnessing all the positive energy downtown,” Dennis said.
Councilwoman Martha Lock echoed her sentiments.
“For me as a community member who loves Monte Vista, and as a councilwoman who really cares about our businesses and our citizens, this is all about a positive community," Martha Lock said. "A thousand plus people visiting our businesses and vendors and being happy with what we have. I think Cinco de Mayo brings out the positive in the community.”
A car show was held at the event, featuring 19 entries.
“It was just wonderful,” said OptiMystics member Adam Lock. “We had over a thousand people attend throughout the day. We had double the vendors this year. All the vendors said the same thing, this is great, we love it, people are buying and coming back for more. We can’t thank our vendors and our community and our sponsors enough for all the great support and networking that took place at this event. One of the neatest parts of the event was the car show was also taken out to the veterans at Homelake.”
Adam Lock said that the OptiMystics contacted Admissions and Marketing Director Pam Self at the Colorado State Veterans Center to ask about the drive-through of the car show a couple of months before the festival, and she was all for it.
“Some of the car show participants said it was the best thing ever to see the veterans waving and with their thumbs up, and just coming out to view and see the cars up close as they drove through," Lock said. "We were also informed that the veterans had their own little celebration out at Homelake too, so the car show just added to that for them.”
Rio Grande County Commissioner Scott Deacon said, “It was very heartfelt during the car show out at Homelake, to see our veterans on their porches giving thumbs up. God bless our veterans."
Judging was held for the car show on Adams Street and three people’s choice awards were given, each winner received a plaque and a cash prize. First place and $150 went to John Velasquez of Buena Vista and his 1966 Chevy Impala, second place and $100 went to Tony Garcia of Center and his 1969 Chevelle SS, and third place and $50 went to Jake Medina of Monte Vista and his 1961 Chevy Pickup.
Mark Renshaw of the OptiMystics said a vendor asked him about an open space downtown.
"I sent her in the direction of a possible building that might be for sale," Renshaw said. "The vendor was ecstatic; she said these things are so good for networking. She said she got more information here than she would have if she would have been trying to talk to realtors. That was an interesting curve for this festival.”
The OptiMystics are currently working on plans for their second annual Southern Colorado Micro Brew Fest in August. They were ecstatic that Cinco De Mayo went so well.
“We will definitely do this again next year, this is an awesome event for our community,” Adam Lock said.