Ukiah Unified School District

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The Power of Partnership, Innovation and Learning

Ukiah’s 1st Annual Lowrider Festival March 24 at Alex R. Thomas Plaza

The event took shape when BPU Dean, Erica Gonzalez, reached out to Adrian Mata from La Familia Market in the fall about collaborating to put on a Lowrider car show and community event. “I was interested in providing a learning experience for our students and the opportunity for them to take pride in what they achieve,” Gonzalez said. “Planning and hosting a large community event like the Lowrider Festival is a great way for students to feel empowered and learn many skills that can transfer into life after graduation.” 

La Familia Market is a local non-profit organization started by Adrian Mata, originally comprised of nine Latino-owned businesses, including Katzumy’s Boutique, Bonita Boutique, Body Love by Ana, Sweet Cravings, Cuerpo Divina, Miche Masters, Fleeky Beauty, Tortas Chavito, and Vago Hats. The steering committee of La Familia Market remains these original nine businesses, but the nonprofit has expanded to include many more businesses.

Katzumy's Boutique owner Katzumy Gomez commented, "Our goal is to bring our versatile community together for a good cause and a great time. It is important to merge our cultures and embody what we all have in common, a sense of community and family. Join us for a memorable event, La Familia Market and Big Picture Ukiah's first Annual Lowrider Festival!"  

La Familia Market’s purpose is to hold pop-up tent-style markets that showcase the goods and services these small businesses provide and donate the vendor fees to scholarships and grants for youth in the community to further their education or start their own businesses. The organization has been established for less than a year and has already raised $10,000 used for La Familia Market scholarships and grants.

Big Picture Ukiah is a continuation school that focuses on helping students identify and pursue their interests in addition to focusing on social-emotional well-being. Staff at BPU identified interested students, and Erica Gonzalez formed a student group to collaborate with La Familia Market to plan and implement the show. A current student on the committee, Xitlally Medina, created the flier and another student, Alejandro Rivera, will be performing with his band, Grupo SG, at the event.  

In addition to showcasing vendors selling their food, merchandise, and services, there will be a lineup of diverse entertainment, including local Mexican regional bands, Ballet Folklorico de Mendocino County, and Grupo Azteca Anahuac (from Santa Rosa). One of the event's highlights is the display of beautiful art in the form of Lowrider vehicles and culture. 

All are welcome to register their Lowrider vehicles, bikes, or peddle cars by filling out a registration form. Please contact Erica Gonzalez at [email protected] if you want to enter your Lowrider in the festival. The fee is $20 per entry; all proceeds will go back to local youth through scholarships and grants. If you want a vendor space at the event, please contact Adrian Mata at [email protected].

Lowrider Festival attendees can vote on their favorite Lowrider vehicles in four categories: Best Paint Job, Best Engine, Best Classic Car, and the most prestigious, Best in Show. Event organizers will award the People’s Choice trophies at 8:30 p.m.