High expectations, low turnout for first day of music and sports festival.


Perla Lara

Friday July 29 was the first day of the Cerritos College Music and Sports festival which included a soccer tournament and a carnival. Vendors set up their booths ready to sell festival goers seafood, tacos, desserts, special psychic readings, and other things. Photo credit: Perla Lara

Perla Lara

Cerritos College held a music and sports festival.

The event includes a three-day youth soccer tournament, a carnival and a concert held on Saturday, July 30, with Singer Larry Hernandez as headliner.

The festival is to raise funds for Cerritos College student scholarships.

The festival’s first day had over 12 different vendors offering seafood, pupusas, tacos, churros, funnel cakes, ice cream, Italian ice cream, kettle corn, old fashioned soda, handcrafts from Guatemala, a special psychic reading, mountain dew samples and three different car insurance companies.

However public turnout was not what was expected and the vendors described the day as slow.

In almost three hours since the start of the carnival the balloon pop game booth sold less than $10.00 worth of games.

Carnival game booth worker Jason Abel Olivares said, “There’s no one here, I’d rather have a large crowd. It makes the time go by faster.”

Pierre Anthony owner of Cali Concessions was also unhappy with the turnout and the festival organization.

He said, “With me churros are a conflict, in the Latino community what are they going to buy first a churro or a funnel cake?”

Anthony goes on to say “I wouldn’t have come here, I wouldn’t have paid the vendor fee if I knew that all these other vendors I have to deal [compete] with.”

He continued, “[It] $380 is not a lot of money but it looks like I won’t be able to make that money back, of course today is the first day, a smaller day, and anything can happen tomorrow.

“My experience in the past sometimes when you work a Latino event like this your sales are higher on Sundays and I hope that’s the case.”

Fellow vendor and President of Kettle Masters Mathew Rounds greed with Anthony in that people have a budget for spending at a festival and carnival and it’s usually not enough to spend at every vendor.

Rounds was selling Kettle corn and old fashion soda however the soda was in competition with the booth that was offering free mountain dew samples.

He said, “We started at 5 p.m. and it’s now 7 p.m. and we’ve sold two things [….] We’re hoping we can make some money tomorrow.”

Rounds claimed that a $10 parking fee was high and said, “I think it’s outrageous they shouldn’t charge parking, if they do maybe $2 or something but $10 takes away from us, [festival attendee] are going to say I’m already $10 down.”

Other vendors had a different outlook toward the music and sports festival.

Owner of Artesanias Guatemala Selvyn Lopez, maker and seller of handcrafted Guatemalan goods, was glad to exhibit and sell his goods at the festival.

He said he participated in events and festivals all throughout California during the summer and was glad to be able to help raise funds for scholarships.

Owner of local seafood restaurant El Marinero Adrian Angel looked forward to the next two days and the concert on Saturday, where he was planning to have three booths including one in the VIP section of the concert.

Women’s soccer head coach, Ruben Gonzalez hopes this festival to be the first of many music and sports festivals.

The festival came together in four months according to Gonzalez, “We wanted to do it as part of the Falcon Leadership Academy. We wanted to do it next year, I wanted to take a year and kind of plan it and Dr. Fierro asked me ‘hey can we do it now?’ I said ‘we’ll try’ and it’s come together nicely.

“[…] It takes a lot of work behind the scenes it takes a lot we’re lucky we got some really good sponsors that came behind us and supported us and the whole idea of raising money for student scholarships.”

Karla Gomez and her family stopped by the Music and Sports festival on Friday, July 29 after her son’s team Los Toritos made it to the next round in the tournament. They enjoyed eating ceviche from vendor El Marinero family restaurant and playing at the carnival’s balloon pop game booth.

The youth soccer tournament had 75 teams playing in three different venues and the semifinals and championship games took place at Cerritos College on Sunday, July 31.

Cerritos College neighbor Patty Ramirez saw the festival and decided to attend.

She said, “I want to overcome my fear and ride the Ferris wheel and look above the sky[…] the sun is setting and you see all the pretty lights and you can start to see more people coming out and the police department is patrolling so everything looks safe.”