The Dallas Morning News

Selena Day celebrates singer

Weather dampens earlier events in Dallas on Friday

- By JEREMY HALLOCK Special Contributo­r

Weather dampened early Selena Day celebratio­ns, but the day ended on a high note.

The rain and cold almost ruined National Selena Day in Dallas on Friday. It would have been the late singer’s 50th birthday.

In the early afternoon, there was little or no activity celebratin­g the occasion in Oak Cliff. At Country Burger, around noon, the drive-in had a long line of cars, but no one was gathered around the restaurant’s mural of the late Queen of Tejano Music.

Same goes for artist Jeremy Biggers’ Selena mural on South Bishop Avenue. Even the parking space in front of it was empty, and no one

had left flowers or any other offerings there.

Legacy Food Hall in Plano had a free outdoor screening of Selena, the 1997 film starring Jennifer Lopez. But halfway through the film, at around 1:30 p.m., there were plenty of people feasting inside, but no one was sitting outside watching the movie.

Around 5 p.m., however, things began to pick up at Jaxon Beer Garden, which had a free event with a Selena costume contest, a DJ and live music from Selena tribute band Bidi Bidi Banda.

“She was one of the people who transition­ed Latin music into American culture,” said Adrian Verdin, who started organizing the event over a month ago. “I’d like to help keep her legacy going.” He admitted that it surprised him that there were not more events in Dallas on National Selena Day but expected the event to eventually draw a huge crowd.

“I like this look a lot,” said Susana West. One of over 20 contestant­s who showed up to compete for a $500 prize, West showed up in Selena’s iconic style wearing a bejeweled bra top and white pants. “Selena means a lot to me. She was the first female singer that I heard growing up in Venezuela.”

“Selena was the first person I saw on television who looked like she could be related to me,” Bidi Bidi Banda singer Stephanie Bergara said.

Initially organized for just one show, the band has been going for seven years. Bergara said they were offered about 20 other gigs for National Selena Day after agreeing to perform at Jaxon.

“When you don’t see people who look like you making their dreams come true, your dreams seem unattainab­le,” Bergara said. “I saw her on television and thought, ‘This is what I want to do.’ She was the Mexican Madonna for us.”

 ?? Photos by Juan Figueroa/staff Photograph­er ?? Clara Villalobos posed in the Selena costume she made for the contest Friday at Jaxon Beer Garden in downtown Dallas.
Photos by Juan Figueroa/staff Photograph­er Clara Villalobos posed in the Selena costume she made for the contest Friday at Jaxon Beer Garden in downtown Dallas.
 ??  ?? Fans gathered to pay tribute to the late Tejano music singer on Friday, which would have been her 50th birthday.
Fans gathered to pay tribute to the late Tejano music singer on Friday, which would have been her 50th birthday.
 ?? Juan Figueroa/staff Photograph­er ?? Liliana Camacho, 7, dances with mom, Vania Camacho, during Friday’s Selena party at Jaxon Beer Garden.
Juan Figueroa/staff Photograph­er Liliana Camacho, 7, dances with mom, Vania Camacho, during Friday’s Selena party at Jaxon Beer Garden.

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