MESQUITE — The Casablanca brought out the local Latin American community to their “casa” Friday night to kick off the hopeful return of Hispanic-centered events to the casino.
Colombian band Sonora Tropicana and Mexican band La Sonora Santanera kicked off the dance and concert, called “La Guerra de las Sonoras” or the war of the Sonoras.
While the Casablanca hasn’t hosted any similar events in quite some time, as Casablanca Entertainment Director Krissy Ayon said, the concert had a good turnout.
The casino hit their goal of selling just over 300 tickets for the concert, Ayon said, which is about average for shows in the showroom.
The amount of dancers on the floor, however, was far above the average, Ayon said.
“It was full the entire time,” she said. “I’ve never seen a dance floor that full except for on New Year’s Eve, so that was pretty cool.”
The turnout bodes well for future events catering to the Latin American community in the area, Ayon said.
In the last two and a half years since Ayon started working at the Casablanca, she said she has not seen any events like this, although she knows there were some in years past, but she hopes the success of this event sets a precedent for the future.
The bands themselves were a big hit with the crowd, with dancers overflowing from the dance floor and fans getting pictures with the singers after the performances.
Both bands had a Cumbia and tropical flair, which Ayon said is something anyone can dance to.
The Sonora Tropicana started the concert and got the crowd out of their seats and onto the dance floor from the start.
Afterward, people flocked to band members to get pictures with them before they rushed off to their next show.
Although the band had never played in Mesquite before, members of the band said they wanted to come back and one member, Carolina Villa-Gutierrez, said she was surprised by the excitement.
“It was good that all of the Latinos get together,” she said. “We enjoy it, we dance, we sing, and everything was so wonderful.”
Fellow singer Veronica Medina said the crowd was awesome.
Following Sonora Tropicana’s performance, concert-goers had to wait about an hour for the next performance, as Sonora Santanera was late.
Onstage, they thanked those who waited and explained that one of their band members was in the hospital and they had been waiting to check on his health.
Those there didn’t seem very bothered, as a disc jockey filled in to keep everyone dancing while they waited.
After the show, fans swarmed in to get pictures with members of the band that celebrates 60 years since it was founded this year.
One fan, Fermin Espinoza, a St. George resident, said he had first heard the band 30 years ago when he lived in Mexico and finally got to meet the band for the first time Friday.
Overall, the show was a great success, Ayon said.
“I think this was a great kick-off to hopefully what will be a lot of these types of events,” Ayon said.
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