Fiesta Vallarta 2011 was THE party to bid farewell to 2010 and usher in the New Year 2011 in Mexico. Hosted by the city hall of Puerto Vallarta the event was intended to draw more visitors to Mexico´s second largest tourist destination by promoting its new web portal www.visitpuertovallarta.com. The portal was designed to communicate the essence of the Puerto Vallarta experience – a combination of world-class modern beach resort in city with a strong traditional heritage offering an unparalleled amount of artistic, cultural and adventure tour experiences for travelers.
Fiesta Vallarta 2011 – Fusion de Sentidos, spearheade by the city`s director of tourism was made possible Mayor Salvador Gonzalez Resendiz, the Fideicomiso’s Miguel Andres Hernadez (president) and Salvador Peña (administrative director) and the Conventions and Visitors Bureau (CVB) represented by Dennis Whitelaw, Luis Angarita and , Luis Angel Cantu amongst others.
Fiesta Vallarta 2011 – Fusion de Sentidos focused on show casing the very best of Puerto Vallarta by providing a varied program that featured both traditional and contemporary acts catering to locals and the wide variety of travelers that visit the city. The program ran from 7 PM on December 31 in the heart of the city and finished at 6:00 AM at the unofficial after-party at Oscar´s in the heart of the city in the beautiful Rio Cuale.
The main stage at the public event included local pop rock the Zippers who dazzled the crowds with a one hour set of contemporary and rock classics, Fashionista – an acrobatic troupe from Guadalajara, which delighted the audience with their “Magic and Fantasy”, and Fandango, a stage show, produced in Jalisco that presents a unique and contemporary interpretation of Mexican dance and music traditions. For the house music fans DJ Dex saw in the New Year with a one hour set during a 30 minute firework display, courtesy of city hall, that ran the length of the malecon. The headliner for the event award-winning DJ Max Graham was flown in by the organizers Mijo! Brands and Espacio Urbano. His international status as a fresh new talent in progressive house drew crowds from across the country and as far away as Europe and Asia.
On the second stage at the iconic Los Arcos, across from the main plaza, the folkloric ballet group Temoztli and the renowned Mariachi Real de America. Closing in time for the firework extravaganza was the talented young vocalist Paz Villaseñor singing traditional and contemporary songs.
The event at Oscars was attended by raputrous house music fans. And featured a 3 dJ set, with 8 hours of house music. DJ Frank Bustamante opened the event at Oscars and was later joned by Djs Dex and Max Graham.
“We were disappointed by the absence of fireworks last year. Our family has been travelling to Mexico nearly every year since the sixties; the fireworks had become such a wonderful part of our trip. To see the city extend itself and put on such a sophisticated show despite the way Mexico is being portrayed internationally and the dismal global economy was wonderful. Well done to the city, from what I have heard, local business has been desperate for something positive to lift spirits and promote Vallarta.” said Beth McLellan from Canada her husband and 3 generations of the family. “From what I see the party worked, everyone had such fun. We´ll definitely be telling our friends in Canada that it’s the party of the year.”
Local businesses including restaurateurs, hotels and tours were very supportive of the event. Large to small businesses alike signed up for sponsorship in order to create a stronger media presence for Puerto Vallarta. Hotels such as the CasaMagna Marriot, Velas Vallarta and Puerto de Luna quickly signed up as sponsors committing rooms for the international guests or fund the grand scale production. Restaurants included the newly re-launched El Dorado Daiquiri Dicks, El Andariego, Cafes des Artistes, Amapas Sunset, River Café, Dominos Pizza and café bookstore A page in the Sun and, of course Oscars. Adventure tour companies included Unique ATV, Canopy El Eden, and el Nogalito Canopy. Other sponsors include Timothy Real Estate Group, Marcelo Mico, PVRPV, Budget, Bay Vallarta, Coca Cola, Plaza Caracol and Grupo Modelo.
The public event drew an estimated 20,000 revelers, though numbers have yet to be confirmed by city officials. No incidents or accidents were reported to the authorities for the duration of the event. Numbers for Oscars have yet to be confirmed.
Lindsey Villaseñor, a student from Guadalajara, attended the public event and the after party at Oscars. “I always go to the malecon with my family. This year was excellent. I still cannot believe it was a government sponsored event. It was so cool. Totally unexpected”
Antonia Lavender, director of commercialization at the OCV and Araceli Corral of the city’s tourism department who worked with the organizers were ecstatic to see such an unprecedented largecrowd. “We definitely had a few technical and logistic set-backs along the way, but we simply kept moving forward one step at a time. The event was created to promote our city, it was a very personal project for everyone, so we all gave it 200%,” comments Corral.
Ana Medina graphic designer at Mijo! Brands ( the agency that created the CVB´s website) was ecstatic about the new year´s eve celebrations. “The new web project is part of an ambitious strategy created to unite Vallartenses to promote and care for our city and as a vehicle to show case that we are a great destination with more than just beaches. We offer modern amenities and strong artistic, gastronomic and music cultures of any toursit destination in Mexico, perhaps second only to the capital, in a gorgeous setting sorrounded by the ocean and mountains.”
The CVB gave away thousands of gifts at various events across the city and many city hotels who hosted individual New Year´s Eve celebrations. The memorabilia was emblazoned with the new portal’s web address and imagery style designed by the agency at Mijo! Brands, who also developed the website. Gifts included back-packs, bookmarks, t-shirts, pens and key rings and wrist bands.
The Director of Tourism for the city explains he was pleasantly surprised by the size and quality of the event. “When Mijo! Brands first proposed the idea at an unofficial meeting in November, a month before the event, the business and government leaders present were a little skeptical that it could be pulled off in such short a time but we all agreed the fireworks were now a tradition in Puerto Vallarta and the city needed an event to launch the website as a signal to the local community that we are serious about the changes we are implementing to attract more tourism to the city.”
“The economic benefits that events like this bring to the city are obvious,” explained one sponsor who asked to remain anonymous. “It´s the first time we´ve tried anything like this on new years united as a city, so I understand some secpticism to become involved. But after the success of Fiesta Vallarta 2011 I hope the number of sponsors triples to create an even better event and more media coverage, after all increased tourism benefits everyone in Vallarta.”
Media Conglomerate Televisa’s presence guaranteed national coverage of the event, while the press release and photos will be sent to Puerto Vallarta´s PR agencies abroad.