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Fiesta Mexicana Anniversary #4 or #50 - YOU DECIDE!

No doubt that the new FIESTA MEXICANA has united many businesses, community people and political interests in Woodburn. The City of Unity is starting to show different ways of uniting. This relationship began in 2010. The sponsor of the FIESTA, Woodburn Club Latino Americano for more than 40 years became became history and journalistically, people in the news should review some facts.

Thanks to a good samaritan who saw migrants from Tejas come to Marion County to help with agriculture, Russell Baglien approached some merchants and the Chamber of Commerce to create an activity down town Woodburn to celebrate the harvest and thank the migrant families for their hard work. Not everyone was thrilled or approved of the idea stated Russell Baglien the good samaritan when I sat down at his kitchen table to recall a bit of the past. However, Mr. Baglien’s persistence prevailed and the fact that he could relate to the experience as he remembered his own journey to the Beaver State and particularly Woodburn, Marion County, Oregon, USA was helpful in his quest.

That August afternoon in 1964 after the majority of the Tejano migrants came home from working in the fields and other manual labor industries they rushed to down town to see and take part in the activities; the library park was the setting. Most migrants did not live in town as many could not afford to pay the rent and expenses that comes with living in an apartment or a house. A blend of migrants, Woodburn residents and curious eyes filled the Library Park and the stage with a timeless back drop that still stands today was the center of activity. The good samaritan accomplished his mission. It took a person from out of town to recognize the importance of rewarding and acknowledging hard work.

In the eve of the FIESTA in 2013 it’s important to remember the first phase of the FIESTA MEXICANA as the anniversaries have become a bit of a mystery. Is this year’s FIESTA #50 or # 4? Historical documents show that the first phase of the FIESTA would last from 1966-2009 (40+ years) under the Woodburn Club Latino Americano leadership. Sadly, the majority of the leadership has joined the inevitable “Eternal Journey.”

The officials, membership and the many volunteers of the Woodburn Club Latino Americano WCLA had devotion like no other. Everyone volunteered, some gave up their vacations, spend their own money and many families would work tirelessly day and night to offer three days of family fun, entertainment and a time to mingle. The Club had a policy “No one got paid” a contrast to the recent promotion of the FIESTA. “Self-Sufficiency was the hallmark of the early pioneers of LA FIESTA MEXICANA.

Sadly, even good things come to an end. Those who will read the accounts in the newspapers, oral/video and photo historical clips will decide for themselves the meaning of 2013 and the claim of Fiesta “50.” The agendas, minutes, notes and photographs taken by the membership can help set the record straight. SPECIAL NOTE: the genesis of LA FIESTA MEXICANA began as the Woodburn Club Latino Americano opened their meeting in accordance with their credo, a prayer and the pledge allegiance on July 23, 1966. GRACIAS: Presidente-Leon Saldaňa (from Arizona), Vice-Presidente-Concepcion Olvera (from Texas), Alfredo Herrera Secretario (from Texas), Representate Raul Ramirez (from Texas). These four people (RIP) were the official operating officers according to their WCLA Business Ledger.

A collage of photos, copies of agendas, minutes and other information to celebrate and acknowledge the first 45 years of LA FIESTA MEXICANA and an evolving community will be displayed in a family website This is a gift to the general community from the Saldaňa-Salinas Families. Most stories that will appear will be personal accounts as people undoubtedly will start “Me acuerdo cuando” or “I remember when.”…. and YOU the reader will decide the merit and importance of this article.

ConAMISTAD! (with Friendship)
Student of History
Miguel A. Salinas
Jalisco to Oregon 1953

To: The Woodburn Independent
Please consider this letter under the section “Letter to the editor” or “In my opinion”
Your reply to my request would be greatly appreciated.
Thank You.

SPECIAL NOTE August 1, 2013
I personally took the letter to the Woodburn Independent Newspaper and thank them for publishing the letter. Their version had to be edited to meet their criteria which is understandable; visit The Woodburn Independent July 24, 2013 “Is this year’s Fiesta number 50 or number 4?” My note: Do the math see who sponsored the Fiesta…then you decide!

The majority of the information which will be posted in our website under “ADELANTE MEXICANOS” will be excerpts from the Woodburn Club Latino Americano Organizational Meetings and other topics of CIVIC AND CULTURAL VALUE!                           HAPPY READING ☺

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