Saturday, May 10, 2014

Fiesta One-Upmanship in September with Parade

Six years ago, nightclub owner Edison Garcia held a three-day fiesta celebrating Central American Independence. In 2012, owners of another club went head-to-head, or block-to-block, with their own fiesta  across the street. This year, besides holding their third fiesta on the same weekend as Garcia's sixth, the Maree Group/Voluntad wants to add a parade from Rock Avenue along Front Street to Roosevelt Avenue on Sunday, Sept. 14.

Garcia, owner of Los Faraones at 111 Front Street, began holding fiestas in the two city-owned parking lots behind his building to mark both Independence Day in July as well as Central American Independence Day . The Maree Group, affiliated with Chez Maree on Watchung Avenue, began holding its festivals in the city parking lot between Watchung and Roosevelt avenues.

The dual events draw thousands of Latinos and others to the city for the weekend. Resolutions permitting this year's fiestas are up for City Council approval Monday at the regular meeting, 8 p.m. in Municipal Court.

Garcia is seeking approval for the July 4 through 6 fiesta from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on all days. He wants to hold his Central American Independence event on Sept. 12, 13 and 14 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Music is to stop at 10 p.m. in July and 9 p.m. in September, according to the resolutions.

The Maree Group/Voluntad productions wants to hold the September fiesta from 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12; from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13; and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 14. The parade is supposed to start at 11 a.m. and arrive at the fiesta at 1 p.m.

Formerly events received public safety clearance after council approval, but in an innovation this year, organizers had to be cleared by the Police Division first. Each event received a condition that six police officers be hired. The parade was not included in a draft resolution reviewed by the council at its May 5 agenda-fixing session. It is unclear whether further public safety arrangements, such as police approval of the route and traffic coverage must be obtained, nor is the exact nature of the parade spelled out, i.e., will it include bands, floats, vendors and such.

The May 12 agenda is relatively light, with many items listed to be approved in a single consent vote. Perhaps that will provide time for the council and public to hear more about the fiesta details before the votes on those resolutions.



  1. They should not allow the fiesta party go on during the 4th of July parade. The city council should not let them sell ANY LIQUOR! Last year the music was so loud hat you them all the way into Cedarbrook Park. I also know that many of the restaurants and other businesses who pay rent and taxes to the city of Plainfield were hurt by all of the fiesta parties and much to loud music,

  2. What about Plainfield's 4th of July parade celebrating AMERICAN Independence? Sounds like it will be pre-empted by the Central America Independent Day festivities .. with drunks, trash on the streets, peeing on walls and LOUD LOUD music.

    Both of these groups think blaring music and mega phones for days is great. It isn't for the large percentage of Plainfield who aren't interested in these activities. Fine if the music stops at 10pm. But what about having 3 days of non-stop blaring music and loudspeakers? The last time the music and megaphones were so loud I couldn't hear my own TV in my own house!!

    What about a citizen's right of "peaceful enjoyment" of our property? What about other business' right to be able to conduct business?

    It's one thing to have a day festival. That is tolerable. Now we're talking about 6 days of LOUD festivals.

    You better believe these a huge money makers for these groups. They are making money at the expense of the rest of us.

  3. Who knew that Plainfield would become a reverse, low-rent Spring Break destination for those whose countries have been seasonally invaded for decades by loud, drunk yankees?

  4. I love the idea of the festivals and think it's a great draw to our downtown.... but, truly.. the music is simply too loud.. regardless of what time they shut it down.. the volume should be regulated as well

  5. They would never approve a four day festival celebrating the African American art form called hip hop on city owned property,the new world order has arrived can someone say Ola

    1. you say that... Put it to the test.. Get someone to propose throwing a multi-day hip-hop festival in the parking lots downtown.. I'd gladly attend like I happily attend the Latino Festivals that are currently held downtown ( again... cringing at the noise level though the entire time I am there..and would stay longer were it not so loud ) ... but don't say they'd never allow it when one has never been proposed.

  6. Fellow Plainfielder's We need to tell our council members to VOTE NO NO NO For festival In Downtown Plainfield. Last year I saw drunks walking around Front street and the music was so loud that you could here it clear to Greenbroook Park'

  7. Are you aware that plfd police have a no loitering law that applies to blacks only if 50-75 black men stood on front st seeking day labor they would be ordered to disperse I know that for a fact

  8. As a Latino, I say NO to these festivals as they are today.

    Almost 1.5 miles away the noise is clearly audible with doors and windows closed.

    The mess these festivals leave behind is exactly what past and present administrations and council members have consistently expressed they want to avoid, yet they allow it, against the will of their constituents who have voiced opposition in the past. The City has set the wrong precedent, allowing these festivals to operate with very little restrictions, oversight or planning.

    THE FESTIVAL OPERATORS ARE NOT PLAINFIELD RESIDENTS. They make their money here and go home, somewhere else.

    These are 2 smart business men who have developed a gimmick that quickly generates tens of thousands of dollars for them at the expense of Plainfield residents who have to endure 36 hours of insanity several times a year.

    There is no proof that these events have a positive impact on the city, its development or its image and likely detracts prospective residents and visitors .

    Let’s start now with re-branding and say “NO” to these festivals.

    If the genuine intention of these festivals is to promote Latino history, culture and heritage perhaps the operators can join with the Plainfield Advisory Commission on Hispanic Affairs to promote their initiative in a modified manner or through other means, that is more respectful of all its residents.

    There are venues for events such as these, downtown Plainfield is not it.