I was totally disappointed and not quite sure where to begin. I recognize that not every event or concept was going to be an amazing one, starting this blog. However, I have to say that the fiesta should have been callied a siesta (a Spanish word for a nap).
Having falsely advertising that the First Annual Icecream Fiesta would begin at 3 PM MST, it was organized more like Jose’s family kickback. If you are not Hispanic, this is a cultural reference to how many “kickbacks” (a get together), birthday parties, and other organized events involving food and people, usually start an hour or so after the posted/ announced time, and a non-sequitur for how many Latino/ Hispanic men are named Jose.
We arrived at 4:07 PM MST and were charged $7.00 USD per head. The parking was to the back after we drove up a dirt road to greet a nice older lady along the side of the path, to pay to enter. Cash only was accepted.
Upon arrival, it was evident the vendors (which there were only three) were located on one side, with the ice cream tables were on the other and a lone food truck selling Mexican food posted up in the corner. There were plenty of places to stand. The vendors began to arrive when we did. An hour late apparently. After exiting the vehicle, only to find we were two of the 25 people who had already arrived, we approached a few of the vendors sitting behind their plastic “Spalding-style” tables. I stood in front of a table that had a few slushy machines. I then pointed toward the three machines churning colored liquid and the man replied, “[a]bout another 15 minutes,” only after he placed his palm against the side of one of the machines in effort to gain some sense of empirical data.
After he confirmed that they were not prepared to sell their snow cones, slushies or any ice cream, we moved on to the next vendor, if you could call them that. One younger female, who appeared to be in her mid-teens was on the phone and another two women were sitting on metal folding chairs, clearly not contributing. I asked how long they had been here, simply because we were already an hour into the event. She gave some semblance of a reply under hr breath. The only English she did mutter that sounded relatively confident was an offer to sell us ice-cream. This lone ice cream vendor who was “prepared” to take a ticket in exchange for one cold item–the ice cream, offered us a peak inside their small freezer, the kind you’d find inside a convenience store, with a sliding glass door on the top. The freezer was plugged into an extension cord and was filled with cardboard boxes of product. As we could not tell what the contents were, we asked and the young girl shrugged slightly and said, “I don’t know.” Thankfully, as they were labeled, I leaned in and saw a stamp for strawberry. We asked permission to open the box and inside, we found several Frutiki fruit bars. Underneath these cardboard-styled boxes, there were also Butterfinger and Snicker flavored ice-cream bars. On the other the end of the freezer, were Bluebunny (consumer sized) containers of ice-cream, more vanilla and neapolitan.
Sadly, when we handed the young girl a single red ticket, she handed us a half-melted ice-cream bar. This was completely unacceptable. That was the last straw.
There were no toppings, no homemade ice cream and it was 80% vanilla–no pun intended. With two medium sized inflatable units, there was a spot for children to play, but unfortunately these were posted up adjacent to an arroyo filled with standing water. Considering the recent Zika scare, you’d think a little consideration would have be met with location, advertising and earning the name of a “Southwestern Ice Cream Fiesta.”
Sadly, we decided to leave when we acknowledged it was hopeless and boring. I expected more, because the event was advertised as being hosted by the Children’s Miracle Network, and a portion of the proceeds sent to The Children’s Hospital.
We drove back the way we came, up the first road, received a refund and chose to spend the money at Dairy Queen, off of the Gateway and I10, near Trans Mountain.
I paid less than $8.00 for a strawberry ice-cream sundae and a Cookie Dough mini-blizzard with Oreo.