PACfest offers a head start to Battle of Flowers Parade

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Palo Alto College also celebrates 30 years as a college as part of annual event.

By Te Keyshia Johnson

Since the early 1990s, Palo Alto College has hosted PACfest the Thursday before the Battle of Flowers Parade, and this year is no different.

PACfest, which is noon-10 p.m. April 23 in the campus central courtyard, will kick-start the celebration leading up to the parade.

Jerry Arellano, Palo Alto College’s director of public relations, said PACfest became an official Fiesta event when it earned the Fiesta trademark in 2003.

Admission to the non-alcoholic family-friendly community event is $5 or free with an Alamo Colleges ID or for children ages 12 and under. Parking is free.

The event will have many different performances from various bands, including Las Fenix at 6 p.m. and Erick y Su Grupo Massore at 8:30 p.m.

There also will be performances by Chris Salinas & the Wild Grass Ready Revolution Electric Circus, Palo Alto’s Mariachi Conjunto and more.

“We’re also going to have the award-winning social media ally where folks can engage with the campus, and there will be a lot of cool items there,” Arellano said.

He said there’s going to be a game zone for children because the community college serves a lot of non-traditional students and families. Whataburger will sponsor the game zone 2-6 p.m.

“If you have never been to PACfest before, you at least need to try it out this year,” Arellano said.

The event will host its second annual Fiesta Grilldown, which is the only carne asada contest during Fiesta, Arellano said. There will be guest judges Blondie and Nugget from 94.1 FM’s morning show and producer Rossi Ramirez, Arellano said.

He said students who want to enter must create a team of two. There will be 10 teams competing. Students can go to the Palo Alto College Facebook page and upload a photo of their team, along with the reason they should be contestants in the Grilldown this year.

The college also plans to end the festivities with a bang to recognize a special milestone.

“This year Palo Alto College is celebrating their 30-year anniversary of providing post-secondary access to the surrounding community, and in commemorating that, we are going to celebrate the end of the night with a fireworks show,” Arellano said.

For more information, call 210-486-3000 or visit

Richard Montemayor contributed to this story.


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