"Is it going to Rain?" One of the Main Questions asked at El Pasos " Music Under the Stars"
POSTED: Monday, August 10, 2009 - 5:17pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 3:36pm
Chuck's music and weather experience. Photographer Ray Chiarello, www.jpgmag.com
I went to the Chamizal National Park this past Sunday to do something I have not in year's, enjoy " Music Under the Stars". The event is free and has become a great El Paso summer tradition. The Chamizal is the ideal setting and one of the best and well kept parks in the region. I was among at least over 10,000 other people who had the same idea. The question everyone had on their mind was " Is it going to rain?". I had checked the radar before I left the house and saw a diminishing area of showers and thunderstorms tracking through northern Juarez towards El Paso. I decided to chance it because I knew that if the showers pushed in, they would not last very long. I had to park behind Bowie High School Stadium. I grabbed my umbrella(a weatherman can not be caught in the rain without an umbrella!), my chair and my hairspray( A anchorman's best friend) and headed off towards the park. The outflow winds, from dying thunderstorms south of the border, were gusting over 25 mph and there were a few rain drops mixed in. I talked to a few guys, as we walked along, who were seasoned veterans of this weekly free concert series. One of them had been every Sunday this summer and he gave me the break down and one critique of every performer. He liked the "Kiss" tribute band this summer the best. He said there were over 14,000 people there for that night of painted faces and "Detroit Rock City" classic rock. I saw the hard working, friendly National Park Rangers and mass of people and I knew I was in the right spot. The aroma of roasted green chile's and carne asada was a beautiful thing. The barbecues still grilling up every type of food you can imagine were adding to the atmosphere. There were kids running around, family's enjoying each others company and just an overall happy and good feeling. The band started before I could find a spot. The performer's of the night were an appropriately named band "Windy City" a tribute band to the group Chicago. The outflows winds calmed down and the light showers disappeared, perfect timing. I was invited to sit with the new coaches for the Bowie High School football team who all three had coached the past few years for the very successful Austin High football team. Their family's and friends made feel right away like I belonged. They told me they all graduated from Bowie and it was their goal to bring the same success back to their Alma Mater. I was given a beverage with the promise that I go to cheer on the Bears at least one home game this year. I shall and I know they will eventually have great success with "La Bowie". I found this article on our media partners, The El Paso Times" website, www.elpasotimes.com. written by David Burge that gives you some facts about the success the event has had this year. "The Music Under the Stars summer concert series is getting more popular with each passing year. The free summer concert series at the Chamizal National Memorial has already surpassed last year's attendance and is on pace to draw more than 100,000 people. It has attracted drawn 93,000 people so far with two shows to go, said Victor Guerrero of the city's Museums & Cultural Affairs Department. Last year's concerts drew 92,000 people but had two rain outs. A typical season usually draws about 100,000 attendees, Guerrero said." I think Mr Burge sums up the how popular, beneficial and valuable "Music Under the Stars" is for tens of thousands of people across the Borderland. The bulk of these concerts fall right during the region's "monsoon" season and right during the prime time for thunderstorms, the early nighttime hours, so there is always a chance of a stray shower or thunderstorm. If you had the pleasure of attending this great event you know most of the showers and storms do not last that long and sometime the rain just adds to the experience. Afew over the years have been heavy enough to force the Park Rangers to cancel the concert. This coming Sunday will be the last in the summer series and it is "Mariachi" night and will probably be the most attended this year. The groups performing will be Noche Ranchera with Mariachi Tapotio and the El Paso Youth Symphony Orchestra So join me and thousands of other people from across the Borderland. The "WIndy Season" tribute band lead singer sang the lyrics to one of the final songs of the night and more famous Chicago songs that really captured the atmosphere; "Saturday in the park I think it was the fourth of july People dancing, people laughing A man selling ice cream Singing italian songs Can you dig it (yes, I can) And Ive been waiting such a long time For Saturday, no I am really waiting for Sunday and another beautiful night of " Music Under the Stars". Chuck DeBroder Chief Meteorologist Newschannel 9, KTSM TV NBC El Paso, TX