Carpinteria's 2013 Avocado Festival

Bigger & better than ever! You should have been there!

By Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: October 8, 2013

Carpinteria's 2013 Avocado Festival

The 2013 Avocado Festival in Carpinteria was all it was expected to be, with an estimated crowd of more than 300,00 people from different parts of the country over the span of 3 days visiting this quaint, historic oceanside town.

Enjoying the sunshine, people, and many different things that can be done with avocados besides guacamole, LatinoLA's / East L.A. Revue Radio's Fearsome Foursome hit the road and joined the crowd up in Carpinteria for the weekend for some great music, food, drink, & good times.

Arriving just around noonish on Saturday, we just missed MESTIZO getting things started on the main stage with their fiery brand of Latin Soul, Funk & Rock & Roll. Judging from the size of the crowd surrounding the stage, they didn't do too bad!

After some food tasting, like the mandatory chips & delicious guacamole, and I JUST HAD to try the avocado-mango ice cream (not bad, actually), and a short visit to the historic candy shop for the ladies, it was back to the main stage where we crowded in with about a thousand people to catch the FLASHBACKS Band reunion performance, featuring the Soul Man of Santa Barbara, PEPE MARQUEZ.

The Flashbacks have been a central coast-home town club favorite for over 25 years until they called it a day a few years ago, so it was not surprising that the dance floor would get shoulder to shoulder packed as happy fans danced to the Flashback's popular musical menu of Oldies, Rock & Roll, Cumbias, Funk, and their trademark version of Archie Bell's immortal "Tighten Up" with singer Pepe Marquez getting it done HIS way. It was a Party!!

After that, we took a stroll down the length of Linden Avenue where the Festival was, down to Carpinteria beach, where we just kicked it with friends under the shade like we were locals, meeting & greeting new friends. Joined by renowned percussionist JAY PACHECO and his lady, and some other friends, we chilled and enjoyed a beautiful afternoon of good conversation, laughs, & cold ones until the sun went down ‘«™ moments to remember. You should have been there!

Making our way back up through the Festival and throngs of thousands, stopping to admire the many different artisan booths, we snagged a table at another historic Carpinteria hangout, Giovanni's Pizza Parlor, where the LOS AMIGOS Band were hitting the stage and welcoming Pepe Marquez to join them.

To our pleasant surprise, we were joined by our good friends Art & Kelly Galvan of the KOOL KATZ Band, all the way from San Jose. By now our party had grown from the Fearsome Foursome to a 12 pack, and the delicious gourmet pizza, garlic cheese bread, and cool drinks made it seem like a fun family gathering under the stars, as the moment just seemed so comfortable & familiar‘«™we were having such a good time !

LOS AMIGOS band were pretty good, and Pepe Marquez made them sound just a taste better. Not much room for dancing, but that never stops LA RAZA, as the Gente danced wherever there was room. One lady even got up and gave us all a dance show as she climbed up on the fountain in the middle of the patio and let loose, much to the screaming crowd's approval‘«™LoL!...music got that good!

Unfortunately, there was a couple of intoxicated over-the-hill disco winas that forgot that there time had passed many years ago, as they pathetically attempted to be "hot hoochie dancing mamas", and ended up being part of the night's entertainment, whether they knew it or not. ‘«™Pobrecitas had no clue ‘«™and I felt bad afterwards that I laughed at them, pero se vale!... I guess they were having a good time‘«™

Anyways, back to Pepe Marquez & LOS AMIGOS...by now, they had worked up the standing room only crowd pretty good, so Pepe & the band surprisingly called up "La Gata", Kelly Galvan of the KOOL KATZ to do a number with them.

Man! You should have been there! Without ever rehearsing together, Kelly, Pepe, and Los Amigos jumped into a Disco-Funk medley that was totally professional and off the chain, like they had done this a hundred times! Los Amigos's brass section took it up a notch and rode the wave so fine, I joined the crowd and was on my feet dancing where I stood‘«™the moment was that good, and they deserved the screaming standing ovation that lasted well over a minute when they got done‘«™.you should have been there !

Whew! That ended the night for us at the Festival, so we headed back to our hotel room where we assembled for a little after party till just after 1am‘«™and we weren't the only ones, LoL !...Carpinteria seemed so alive on this night!

Next morning, Sunday, we began our day by having the breakfast of champions ( i.e. Menudo, Pozole, chorizo con papas y tortillas de harina estilo casera, with a couple asada tacos on the side with our morning coffee) at another favorite RAZA grub spot in Carpinteria, Reye's Market. Highly recommended !

After a heart felt goodbye to our friends the KOOL KATZ, who headed back up to San Jose, we headed back to the Festival main stage, where we were just in time to catch The ROOSTERS.

Don't let the name fool you, these guys are NO cluckers! ( sorry,had to give that one a try, LoL!).

The ROOSTERS put on a fine music show of Oldies, Rock & Roll, Rocka-Billy, Rancheras, Corrido, Cumbias, and closed with a beautiful Reggea version of the tune "Just be thankful" along with an original funk-soul song that I had never heard in that style before‘«™hence, I enjoyed the musical experience , and look forward to a CD by these guys.

"These guys are really good, and really good friends of mine. I really enjoy their music and the way they perform" , Pepe Marquez said, as we sat in the audience together, just before he left for the Dodger game in L.A. ( lucky dude had playoff tickets!!)

Once again we strolled down through the Festival, tasting this, drinking that, admiring all the art & colors, buying a few souvenirs, and hanging out with the thousands of other people till we made it to the beach again for another beautiful sunny afternoon of good company, good conversation, laughs & cold ones. I even snuck in a short nap on the beach, it was just that mellow a day.

Our party had shrunk back down to six pack, but the happy feelings never diminished as we ended our day together at the Palms Restaurant for steaks, chicken, and shrimp dinners. You can't say you ever visited downtown Carpinteria till you've checked out the Palms Restaurant, where for about half price of the menu, you can do your own meat cooking on an open broiler, with endless salad, fresh baked bread, beans, and baked potatoes‘«™we dined like royalty on a shoestring budget‘«™I LOVE IT !!

After a brief stop for coffee at the Coffee Bean, then across the street back to Giovanni's to catch a couple innings of the Dodger game, we bid goodbye to Carpinteria and Avocado Festival 2013‘«™

‘«™ever have such a good time with good people that you don't want the day to end?...this was one of those days‘«™but, back to work tomorrow, tu sabes‘«™

Who knows where the Fearsome Foursome will show up next?

Thank you, Carpinteria! See you next year!

About Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is the Al Capone of the microphone & the Hitman of West Coast Chicano Soul playing the fine tunes on www.eastLArevue.com
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