Dia de los Muertos Street Festival in Downtown Corpus Christi

IMG_5828 (3)
Painted faces as skulls were everywhere.
IMG_5820 (2)
Colorful handmade arts and crafts vendors were abundant.
IMG_5824
Tons of music, dance, food, art, and fun

 

Source:  http://diadelosmuertoscc.com/

Background – Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos (DDLM) or the Day of the Dead is a traditional holiday in Mexico when deceased friends and family members are remembered and celebrated. It is a poignant time, both solemn and joyous, with colorful artistic traditions, pageantry, and whimsy despite the sobering subject. Dia de los Muertos is a joyful remembrance in which death is recognized as a natural part of the cycle of life.

In the arts, everyday life is represented in skeletal form. A common symbol of Dia de los Muertos is the skull or “calavera” often represented in masks, candy, and other curios. Traditional activities include making sugar skulls decorated with brightly colored icing, papel picaco (cut paper banners) and paper mache’ masks and figures.  Some people believe possessing Day of the Dead items, like tattoos, dolls, sugar skulls or jewelry, can bring good luck.

Souls of the deceased return to visit loved ones on the days of October 31-November 2.  In preparation for the reunion, families create altars to honor the deceased with ofrendas (offerings) of yellow marigolds, memorabilia, photos, favorite foods, beverages and trinkets of the departed.  Religious and spiritual symbols, like the Christian Cross and Virgin Mary often adorn altars, as well.

Because it is a national holiday in Mexico, schools and government offices close, and the streets are decorated.  People, young and old alike, participate in the festivities: parades, dancing in the town square, and processions to the cemetery.  At the cemetery, the spirits are honored with music, dancing, poetry and stories.  Celebrations can take a humorous tone, as people recall funny events and stories about the departed.  In some areas of Mexico, they picnic or even sleep at the gravesite.

This celebration has gone on for centuries in Mexico.  By presenting the Dia de los Muertos festival and educational programming, we are providing an opportunity for people to learn about this rich cultural tradition of Mexico, to create a connection to our past, and to honor and celebrate the deceased.

Our DDLM Festival assists with cultural tourism by drawing artists, vendors, musicians, and festival-goers to Corpus Christi and to the downtown area.  To enhance our DDLM programming, K Space Contemporary has added cultural art workshops during the month of October and a fine art exhibition. During November, a thematically associated exhibition will be displayed in the main gallery, including the Extravagancia de Piñatas, a contest and exhibition of piñatas constructed by area K-12 schools (groups/art classes/art clubs).  These student groups compete for cash awards for classroom supplies.

The 7th Annual Dia de los Muertos Festival was held Saturday, November 1, 3 pm to midnight!  The festival is held in the 400-500 blocks of Starr and 500-700 blocks of Mesquite Streets in downtown Corpus Christi. Everyone is encouraged to wear a costume.  The event includes live music, Mariachis, Folklorico dancers, Hecho a Mano Art Expo, Kids’ Activities, community altar, food, drinks and more.  Texas A & M University Art Department’s “Hold Steady Iron Pouring Crew” will be on hand offering visitors a chance to create their own miniature iron sculpture while the Printmaking Department will be print customized t-shirts.  A community altar is located inside K Space Contemporary.

Many of  Corpus Christi’s favorite artists will be on hand selling their work and El Dia de los Muertos themed items.

The Hecho a Mano Art Expo features over 75 artists offering everything from jewelry to sculpture to all kinds of Dia de los Muertos related trinkets.  Those that are interested in being a vendor will find guidelines and registration information under “Vendor Information” on this website.

We are accepting sponsors and seeking volunteers.   Sponsorship information is available at http://www.diadelosmuertoscc.com.  Anyone interested in volunteering may call (361)887-6834.

Dia de los Muertos Street Festival is coordinated by the Electra Art*Axis Tattoo, K Space Contemporary, Corpus Christi Downtown Management District, and House of Rock. Proceeds from the event benefit K Space Contemporary, a 501 (C) 3 non-profit arts organization.

 

 P.S. I just had to buy 3 of Roel Palacio’s wonderful masks! They are just amazing!

September Skies

Keeping September is usually our rainy month, and has not let us down this year in the Coastal Bend. The skies have put on a show of their own. These were snapped with my phone, but you can see the cloud formations are really cool.

Bluff clouds (2)
Sculptural clouds form one morning over the Laguna Madre in Flour Bluff.
more bluff clouds (2)
Rain clouds billow like smoke over the Laguna Madre.
Rainbow over downtown (2)
Is there a pot of gold in downtown Corpus Christi?

Schlitterbahn is Kinda Open in the Coastal Bend

A view of the swim up bar and pool.
A view of the swim up bar and pool.

Schlitterbahn “Upper Padre Island” which is really North Padre Island within the city limits of Corpus Christi is what you would call, “kinda open”. The park is still obviously under construction, but the kiddie pool, the swim up bar, and concessions are open. (Hey, they have their priorities lined up!!) Currently, the park is open from 10 am until 8 pm for $5.oo per person. Walk ins to check things out were for free— at least for today! Hey, if you don’t feel like beaching it, you can hit the kiddie pool or  swim up bar with a lot less sand in your car!

Running the Beach to Bay

beach to bay about us
Photo courtesy of http://www.beachtobayrelay.com

Lace up those Asics, it is time to run first and later play at the Beach to Bay Relay!

According to http://www.beachtobayrelay.com, “Since 1976, runners and fun-seekers have flocked to Corpus Christi, Texas to run the Beach to Bay Relay Marathon. To many runners, the annual event has become a tradition throughout the State of Texas.

Beach to Bay has grown to be the largest relay marathon in the United States. Attracting runners from all over the U.S. as well as Kenya, England and Mexico. Approximately 2,600 teams totaling over 16,000 runners compete each year.

The Beach to Bay Relay Marathon is a six-person relay running event that totals 26.2 miles of beach, pavement, a little sweat, an occasional tear and a bunch of smiles. Beginning on the sands of North Padre Island, winding through Naval Air Station Corpus Christi and ending at McCaughan Park along Corpus Christi’s scenic Shoreline Drive, the course is divided into six-legs of roughly 4.4 miles each.

Always held on the third Saturday in May, Armed Forces Day, B2B proudly honors the men and women serving in our United States Military. It’s a tradition founded by Captain John Butterfield back in 1976.”

After the runners complete their legs, most teams gather at McCaughan Park to cheer on their last leg runners and later celebrate a good run with a little beer and pizza. The B2B website proclaims, “Pain now; beer later.”

So, if you want a little fun while you run, the Beach to Bay Relay is the way.

Schlitterbahn Opening May 31st?

Photo courtesy of schlitterbahnnews.com
Photo courtesy of schlitterbahnnews.com

Well, as a layperson, the opening date of the end of the month looks like quite a miracle to me.

According to the Island Moon Newspaper, “the answer came this week from park developers Paul Schexnailder and Jeff Henry who said the park’s ‘soft opening’ will be Saturday, May 31, with the bottom two floors of the main park building open, the old Padre Island Country Club, which includes two restaurants, and the adjacent swim up bar. It is not known how many, if any, water rides will be open by June 1.” I understand that the construction is behind due to the crazy weather this past winter.

My question is who would want to go if there are not any rides? My understanding is that they are going to “soft open” by the end of the month, but continue work into the summer.

Okay, so that means…what?  I just won’t buy a season pass until this thing is further along. I just won’t be able to explain to the kids, “Well, it’s open, but there aren’t any rides ready yet.”

Schlitterbahn Update: Corpus Christi – Swim up bar and Chute!

Reposted from:http://schlitterblog.com/

By Winter Prosapio

Construction Diaries: Corpus Christi – Swim up bar and Chute!

IMG_7218

In Corpus Christi our crews have had some real fun lately putting the finishing touches on what has to be one of our most gorgeous swim up bars. Not everyone realizes, but the first swim up bars were at Schlitterbahn, where we know mom and dad don’t mind having an adult beverage while keeping an eye on the little ones. And this beauty is going to be the perfect place to order up a cold beer or frozen margarita.

IMG_7314

That’s Kate Messer from the Austin Chronicle. She came by to get the inside scoop on what’s happening in Schlitterbahn Corpus Christi.

We all agreed the palapa over the swim up bar is incredibly beautiful. The craftsmanship is due to the amazing work of some of our longstanding crew members.

IMG_7242

 

But most folks on the island are most familiar with a certain structure that is reaching into the sky: The Shoot the Chute.

IMG_7320

 

Is it just me or does it kind of remind you of another iconic Schlitterbahn ride?

IMG_1640

 

Yup. The Master Blaster. Twitter cool guy Jay Saucedo, aka Texas Humor, filmed this POV of that ride. (Thanks @TexasHumor!)

The STC (which is what we insiders call it) is pretty cool. In fact this is becoming one of the most fun things to photograph every chance we get.

 

The Torrent is another area that’s looking pretty good. Here’s a close up of the tile:

IMG_7223

 

Imagine placing all those teeny, tiny tiles. Now imagine doing it for the most exciting Schlitterbahn park ever.

 

Then the real backbone of the park is taking shape. The rivers. They are coming along – rivers are being poured all the time :

 

IMG_7322

 

 

And cabanas are getting finishing touches.

IMG_7236

 

And if that wasn’t enough, on Monday, we have a big announcement.

 

But we can’t tell you about that today.

In the meantime, cruise over and get on our mailing list for Corpus Christi. We promise that the moment we have an opening date, we are going to send out a massive email…

Winter Prosapio

Winter Prosapio is the Corporate Director of Communications and Government Relations, an award winning humor and travel writer, and a momma blogger. Her favorite ride is the Falls, and the Gale Force. She’s taken one Boogie Bahn lesson, but refuses to practice in front of all those kids. She writes on here when no one is looking.

 

 

Fish Lips Sink Ships: Adding to the Nearshore Reef Project

Fishing and diving playground planned 10 miles from Packery Channel and Port Aransas.

"This 155-freighter could become part of an artificial reef for fishing and diving offshore of Packery Channel if the Corpus Christi City Council agrees to pony up $100,000 toward the $500,000 effort." Photo courtesy of Caller.com
“This 155-freighter could become part of an artificial reef for fishing and diving offshore of Packery Channel if the Corpus Christi City Council agrees to pony up $100,000 toward the $500,000 effort.” Photo courtesy of Caller.com

Sometimes treasure can be found around sunken ships, only this treasure is of the marine-life paradise kind. As part of the Ships-to Reefs Project, these submerged ships and structures provide a foundational surface for marine life to attach. After a while, the surface builds up with coral and other marine life and the submerged ship or other structure provides shelter and a strong ecosystem for overfished reef fish species such as snapper and grouper. This project will help replenish some habitat that was destroyed when several offshore oil and gas platforms were removed in recent years. If the City of Corpus Christi agrees to foot $100,000 of the bill, the ship could be in place by the end of summer 2014.

Photo courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife Artificial Reef Program
Photo courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife Artificial Reef Program

The reefs and marine life attract other forms of treasure, fishermen and divers. This ongoing, Near Shore Reefing project has had plenty of bang for both the local and the Texas economy since off shore and recreational fishing generates 2 billion per year for Texas.  The Coast Bend, namely, Port Aransas has been known as the “fishing capital of Texas.”  The Caller Times reported that according to Mike Hurst, who chairs the offshore committee, Saltwater Fisheries Enhancement Association (SEA),”This will be one of the best dive and fishing sites long the mid-Texas Coast. We have secured the ship and are in the final stages of permitting.”

This project is set to enhance the local ecosystem for both marine treasure and human treasure, So, fish lips really do sink ships. Who knew?

Sources: The Island Moon Newspaper; KIIITV.com; Corpus Christi Caller Times; Texas Parks and wildlife