Did you hear? There was a rumor going around that there was a rumor going around …
There was some concern t
hat last Saturday’s Cinco de Mayo celebration in Jack Kilby Square might not have much of a turnout. Talk on the street … well, to be honest, we’re not sure there WAS talk on the street, but SOMEONE said SOMEONE ELSE had heard there might be talk on the street that people should stay away from the festival because Immigration and Customs Enforcement might be watching.
Philadelphia organizers actually did scrap plans for this year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration, “El Carnaval de Puebla,” amid fears of ICE raids and sweeps.
In Great Bend, our reporter Veronica Coons did an advance write-up on the activities that would take place at the festival here. She put in a call to ICE, but found nothing to report. She was told, as others have been told, that “ICE does not conduct sweeps or raids that target aliens indiscriminately.”
In some cities, reportedly, people were concerned that their Cinco de Mayo festivities could become violent this year. Others simply vowed to boycott their events.
The Associated Press reported that in Albuquerque, N.M., police were indeed planning a “blitz.” They would be on the watch for drunken drivers. Meanwhile, a brewery was unveiling a new German beer on Cinco de Mayo. Albuquerque resident Yazmin Krazoqui Ruiz suggested that Mexicans should skip the event because it no longer honors their heritage. “I mean, what is it about?” asked Ruiz, a 25-year-old Mexican-born medical student. “You want to eat our food and listen to our music, but when we need you to defend us, what are you?”
In Great Bend, the festival did not have those political overtones. Yes, we ate the food and listened to the music. That’s a good thing, isn’t it?
According to the Census Bureau, 77 percent of the 16,000 people who live here are white alone, not Hispanic or Latino, and 19.8 percent are Hispanic or Latino. Another 3 percent are something else, with the next largest minority being the 1.7 percent of our population that is black or African American.
No more Just Rumors
On a totally different subject, the “rumor” that Just Rumors on 10th Street would close is a rumor no more. It’s closed. The property has been sold.
That place has been a bar since I first came here in the 1980s. Back then it was The Maverick. I have great memories of times shared there with friends — singing, dancing and eating the shrimp boil served by an oil field crew from Louisiana. The music was always good and — back in the day — the bar was within walking distance of another great club/restaurant, Kennedy’s Claim.
Susan Thacker is news editor of the Great Bend Tribune. Send email to email@example.com.