THREE RIVERS – The all-new, all-different incarnation of Salsa Fest is well underway—with a new location, enthusiastic volunteers and a definitive game plan, the event’s new manager said Monday.
Barbara Vezell, who the city appointed as the event facilitator, was busy but very upbeat with the progress she and the committee working with her are making on Salsa Fest.
The event is slated to take place on July 5 this year at the Hilbert H. Kopplin Memorial Park.. It will, essentially, be a combination of Salsa Fest and a fireworks display.
“We’re working hard, trying to make sure there are, for instance, a variety of lights,” Vezell said. “We’re very busy putting things together. The people on the committee are very excited. It’s really going to be one of the best years ever—especially with our new venue.”
Salsa Fest began in 2000 under the direction of Murrell Foster, executive director of the Three Rivers Chamber of Commerce.
However, the chamber board voted to discontinue their support of the event because of a change in sponsors (First National Bank decided to end its seven-year run of operating the salsa competition).
Also cited was a lack of volunteers, who have steadily declined over the years, Foster said.
The city of Three Rivers subsequently decided to take over, and hired Barbara Vezell to manage it, Foster said.
Salsa Fest officials from the past will still be on hand to offer free advice, free information and a general dose of enthusiasm for the event, officials said.
Vezell said there’s a lot of managing that goes into making the event a reality, but it’s all definitely falling into place.
“We’re still putting it all together right now,” she said. “But I have the right people assigned to take care of things, and it’s going to be great.”