Minerpalooza set to celebrate start of semester, football season
Published: Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 12:05
After more than 30,000 people filled the UTEP campus last year for Minerpalooza, the university is anticipating that number will increase for the 2011 celebration of the Miners' football team and to welcome the new academic year.
"When it first started, it was just the alumni association having a tailgate the day before the first football game, but now as we celebrate the 21st annual Minerpalooza, it has grown to be more than just that," said Charles Gibbens, director of housing and member of the organizing committee for Minerpalooza. "Now it embodies a celebration of back to school and academics, it allows alumni to come back and see how the university has grown and, of course, to celebrate the start of the football season. It is more than just a pep rally; it is a showcase of UTEP and our students."
Minerpalooza will be held at 6 p.m. Sept. 2 on the UTEP campus and will include a pep rally for the UTEP football team. Guest speakers will include UTEP President Diana Natalicio, football coach Mike Price and women's basketball coach Keitha Adams. Some of the new additions this year will include more music performances, a longer parade route, an expanded Kids Zone and a VIP section, now called Pete's Pavilion.
"This is a chance for students to cheer and get ready for the upcoming football season, and at this year's pep rally the emcee will be Power 102.1's Monica Castillo. During the pep rally, we will showcase the UTEP cheerleaders, Miners marching band and, of course, the UTEP football team," said Shannon Osborne, coordinator at the Student Development Center. "The longer parade route will allow the band to perform longer to showcase the music they have been working hard on, and also because of the bigger attendance, we expect it will give more space for people to see the parade. And for a little extra fee, people will be able to enjoy everything from the air-conditioned Pete's Pavilion."
Music performances will include Frontera Bugalú, Del Rio, Red City Blue, Mariachi Los Mineros and a spin-off between DJs Johnny Kage and Esteban Carrasco.
"We will have more music performances this year. We will have a lot more bands playing this year that haven't played at Minerpalooza," said Erika Portillo, coordinator at the Student Development Center and member of the organizing committee for Minerpalooza. "One of the exciting things that is new this year is competition between DJs Johnny Kage and Esteban Carrasco, so this DJ battle event will add to the excitement of the event."
Osborne believes one of the most important aspects to this year's celebration will be the presence of United Blood Services.
"One thing we are very excited about is that not only at Minerpalooza can you celebrate the upcoming football season and show your school spirit, but you can also help save lives by donating blood," Osborne said. "The United Blood Services will be taking donations throughout the event. So this is one way to show your support to not only UTEP, but the El Paso community."
Minerpalooza is free to the public with ticket-purchases available for food, rides and a variety of other activities. Most of the booths at Minerpalooza will be hosted by UTEP student organizations as part of one of their largest fundraising events of the year.
"Minerpalooza is big event for student organizations, not only does it let UTEP students and the community know what your organization is about, but allows them to recruit new members and raise funds to help support their organizations," said Sam Rodriguez, Campus Activity Board advisor and business administration graduate student.