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Wilmington is throwing a party at Banning...

Wilmington is throwing a party at Banning Park today, and about 3,000 guests are expected.

There will be the brassy music of mariachis, as well as the sounds of “oldies but goodies” rock ‘n’ roll tunes. Clowns and balloons will delight children, and fans of classic Chevys will be able to see a customized collection of their favorite car.

“You hear so much negativism everywhere, but people feel proud that they have something good in Wilmington,” said John Mendez, president of the Wilmington Fiesta, which will be held from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Admission to the fiesta is $10 for adults, $2 for children 11 and under. Banning Park is located at 400 E. Pacific Coast Highway.

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Begun 10 years ago, the fiesta offers Wilmington residents and others a chance to greet their friends and support a variety of community organizations by paying to play skills games and buying food from booths set up by community organizations. The groups range from youth organizations to the Chamber of Commerce and service clubs.

“Families come for the whole day,” Mendez said. “They relax, eat under the trees and see top entertainment.”

This year’s fiesta is emphasizing music, with the Tex-Mex group Little Joe y La Familia--which has recorded with Willie Nelson--as the star attraction. The musicians from Texas will perform from 7 to 9 p.m.

Two mariachi groups also will play--Los Camperos from noon to 2 p.m. and Sol de Mexico from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

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A ‘50s and ‘60s rock ‘n’ roll nostalgia show, to include performances by Don Julian and the Meadowlarks and Richard Berry, will take the stage from 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Said Mendez, “For a few bucks, people can enjoy entertainment that would cost $50 somewhere else.”


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