The Experience: We heard about Riverfest via Facebook, the seventh annual fundraiser for the Pasitos de Luz foundation. (Special needs children). The list of musicians performing read like a who’s who of musical talent.
We were confident of a sunny day so purchased patron tickets; early admission, meal, tapas, a margarita or beer, free water/pop plus a reserved shaded table. Eight hundred pesos well spent. General admission at the gate for Saturday was 100 pesos. We had friends visiting from Calgary and they were anxious to join us on this adventure. We set out from Bucerias mid-morning, arriving in Vallarta in great time. We shared a cab from the Las Glorias area (150 pesos). What an amazing cab ride up the tunnel road to Paso Ancho. Arriving at our destination the cab was surrounded by kids opening your door and helping you out. They all received tips.
We were early, first ones in the patron line, we weren’t about to miss a minute of the activities.
The concert started on time with Stolie and she did not disappoint. By this time the tapas for patron tickets were available; a great selection of appetizers from local restaurants / caterers.
My wife was quiet and not looking well. When the second band came on (Jamaican Brothers) she admitted she wasn’t feeling well. The patron buffet was opening in fifteen minutes, I suggested I would eat and then we would go home and our friends could stay and enjoy the day. I never did make it to the buffet. We decided to leave immediately. Volunteers provided a chair in the shade and flagged a cab. We negotiated a great price, (300 pesos) to take us to Bucerias, a forty-five minute drive with no return fare. Ended up giving him 350 pesos.
We love public transportation in Mexico.
Meanwhile, at the festival, friends from Bucerias when hearing of Velma’s illness and departure offered our guests a ride home if needed. (Mucho gracias Diane and Jason!)
One of the qualities we appreciate from the local music scene is how friendly musicians are when not performing. Members from Trez Cuartoz recognized our guests from earlier in the week and asked what song they would like. They opened with the song they choose (Sound of Silence) and when relating the story, they had big grins and were vibrating. After the concert when members from Soul Trip heard what had happened to us they said friends of Velma and Bruce were friends of theirs and offered them a ride into Old Town.
WOW! They got to ride with the band, they were so excited.
They caught a cab back to our place (400 pesos with tip) and related their adventures. Basically, a warm sunny day filled with music, cold beer, great food, an amazing location and wonderful hospitality that raised a record $362,640 pesos for local special needs kids.
Though the day did not turn out the way we planned, we were filled with pride that our Calgary friends were able to experience the kindness and sense of family that we experience every day with our friends in Mexico. They felt safe and loved at all times.
And I scored bonus points with my wife for taking such good care of her. One can never have enough “husband points”; so hard to earn and easy to lose.
Due to the circumstances I have no photos to share. RiverFest photos compliments of Kay Nash.