Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Willie Colón Became The First Salsero To Perform At Milwaukee's Fiesta Mexicana 1984

Willie Colón and H. Nelson Goodson

In Wisconsin history, Willie Colón, a professional Salsero singer from New York became the first to perform at Fiesta Mexicana in 1984.

July 10, 2013

Milw., WI  (HNNUSA) - On August 1984, Willie Colón from New York became the first professional Salsero to perform for the first time at Fiesta Mexicana. Colón and H. Nelson Goodson posed for a photo before the historical performance.
Goodson was instrumental by lobbying and convincing Fiesta Mexicana officials to add for the first time a Salsa performer to attract the Puerto Rican community and their buying economic power. Several Fiesta Mexicana Board members had objected by saying it was a Fiesta Mexicana, but Goodson was able to convince the rest of the Board that Fiesta Mexicana was growing and needed more revenue to provide more scholarships for students. The Salsa performer addition would significantly attract the crowds that were usually left out in the past from attending the lakefront event. 
That year, Colón's performance drew thousands to the Miller Stage and broke Fiesta's attendence records for that Saturday night. Since then, Salsa and other Puerto Rican venues have continued to attract crowds at Fiesta, despite the change of operators of the event at Summerfest.

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