HIDALGO — Becky G, Midland and Ramon Ayala were announced Wednesday as the lineup for this year’s Borderfest, of which Japan will be the host country, according to city leaders here who made the announcement together with Payne Arena.
Becky G, whose real name is Rebecca Marie Gomez, is known for her two number one hits on the Billboard Latin Airplay Charts, “Mayores” and “Sin Pijama,” as well as starring in the films “Power Rangers” and “A.X.L.”
“We’ll have different cultural things that they can experience with Japan — the music, the dance, food, we’ll have cooking demonstrations for sushi and different types of foods,” Chad Garcia, corporate sales manager for Payne Arena, said Wednesday. “We’ll have fun things that people can do with sumo. We’ll have cosplay contests, hot noodle eating contests, and Pokemon Go contests. It’s going to be fun.”
Borderfest will take place over a three-day weekend in March. There is a parade scheduled for Saturday, March 7 at 10 a.m. on 10th Street, as well as two illuminated parades at Borderfest on Saturday and Sunday, March 8, at 6 p.m. Musical performances will be indoors and outdoors with tickets going for $15 for one day, or $25 for three days.
The schedule as of now will include Becky G performing inside the arena on Friday, March 6, with Ramon Ayala and Solido performing outside.
Saturday will feature country group Midland inside the arena, and Lunay, Lupillo Rivera and Carolina Ross performing outside.
Sunday’s performers include Kalimba, El Coyote, Sech and Dalex.
“There’s no additional charge for these,” Garcia said. “This is outside on our main stage. We have that huge stage, I don’t know if you saw it last year, but we’re bringing that huge stage back.”
The festival is scheduled March 6, from 5 p.m. to midnight, March 7, from noon to midnight, and Sunday, March 8, from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“One other cool tidbit is that we developed a state-approved curriculum for the country that we’re celebrating,” Garcia said. “Hidalgo and Valley View kids will study that country for a few weeks, and in exchange, we host them for free on the family shows the Friday of Borderfest during the day before the festival opens. It’s just a little give-back that we do for them.”
Some additional entertainment that was announced for Borderfest includes Noah’s Ark Petting Zoo, Sea Lion Splash Show, a hypnotist, magicians, lucha libre wrestling, and a carnival which will open on Thursday, March 5.
“It’s 44 years of tradition for the city of Hidalgo,” Hidalgo Mayor Sergio Coronado said following the announcement. “We’re going through a very unique year since we’re going to have elections coming up in November. There’s an agenda out there trying to divide us, and I’m talking about Mexico and the United States, with walls.”
“This tradition wants to unite this community,” Coronado said. “We want to unite the Rio Grande Valley. We want to unite the border cities from Mexico. This year we’re going to be celebrating Japan due to the great variety of cultural practices that Japan has. So we’re going to have a great event this year.