CORPUS CHRISTI – The Fiesta de la Flor festival that celebrates the late singer Selena Quintanilla Perez could be in jeopardy because of funding problems. Next year will be the 25th anniversary of her death.
This year's festival, held in April, was the first since the event's start in 2015 that didn't bring in a profit, the Corpus Christi Caller Times reports.
Organizers say the widely attended event brings in more than $10 million in economic impact from the thousands of visitors who attend one of the city's most popular events. "Every hotel is pretty much sold out," an organizer told the newspaper. "People are buying, buying, buying ... That's a lot of money for the city."
With less money coming in from sponsorships and ticket sales, the Selena Foundation, which operates the festival has asked for more money from the Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau to put on the event and help offset costs. The festival costs about $1 million to put on, the newspaper reported.
"In four years we gave less than $100,000 to the Selena Foundation," the foundation's CEO Paulette Kluge said, as reported by the newspaper. "The Quintanillas said, 'That is unacceptable — the city is making millions of dollars.' "
"Everybody is benefiting except the Selena Foundation, and they said, 'It is unacceptable, and if we don't get something for the Selena Foundation, there will not be another Fiesta de la Flor,' " Kluge said. "So I agreed to pay them $35,000 last year, which was all of our profits, and $50,000 moving forward."
The additional money could help keep the festival afloat, but the city council did not budget for the increase — the local government had expected to use profits made from the event to cover the expense — and is now having to find a source of the funds, the Caller Times reported.
City leaders said they are committed to keeping the festival, which other cities have reportedly tried to lure away.
The money made by the foundation goes to awarding scholarships, donations to schools, hospitals and shelters, the Caller Times reported.