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City's Fiesta Draws Festive Crowd
Fiesta Riverbank drew crowds to the downtown Saturday evening although they did not appear as large as at previous celebrations.

One observer commented the drop in numbers may have been due to cancellation of the Fiesta Queen Ball slated for the previous evening at the Riverbank Community Center, apparently because there was only one queen candidate competing to sell the most tickets to the ball instead of the usual half a dozen contestants.

Julie Hernandez, however, was named Fiesta Queen, appeared at Saturday's celebrations wearing a tiara and green evening gown and will receive the scholarship that goes with the title.

A 2012 graduate of Riverbank High School, she plans to go on to San Joaquin Delta College and transfer later to University of the Pacific in Stockton to study speech pathology in which she hopes to make a career. She was a cross country runner at RHS. Her parents are Ramon and Jenny Hernandez of Riverbank.

Mayor Virginia Madueno arrived in the early evening to welcome the community to the Hispanic-flavored party and introduce former astronaut and current politician Jose Hernandez (no relation to Julie) who is running for Congress against Republican Jeff Denham. Hernandez was raised in the Stockton area and many of his supporters elected to have their picture taken with him.

Following a Ballet Folklorico dance presentation by the Cultural Center of Riverbank on the Plaza del Rio stage, the local Mario Flores Latin Jazz Ensemble played for the rest of the evening with Azteca America radio and television station 93.9 filling in at intervals from their vans.

Beer and margaritas were available at stands on the street by special permission of the city. A taco stand was doing good business. A gas powered locomotive pulled passengers in wooden carriages on brief rides around the streets.

The third of its kind, the annual event was sponsored by the Riverbank Chamber of Commerce.