By Josh Hughes
On Sunday, May 20, Western hosted the 18th annual Ridin’ Low in the 360 Lowrider Show in Red Square. Put on by the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlan, or M.E.Ch.A., the show was a celebration of Chicanx culture through cars, dances, food and activism.
Each year anyone or any organization can register their vehicles for the lowrider event to show off their custom rims, impeccable chrome paint jobs and decked out cars. This year there was a wide array of cars, some of which held true to an idea of a traditional lowrider. The majority of the cars that lined Red Square, however, simply focused on looking at timeless and fashionable as possible.
Attendees had the chance to vote on their favorite car (or bike) by filling out forms at the event. As people sauntered their way through the square, a slew of performances and dances filled out the events of the day.
First, Danza Azteca performed a traditional dance called Yolihuani. After a lighthearted limbo competition, the Mariachi Bahia Azul de WWU put on an eclectic performance of mariachi and traditional Mexican folk music. They cited Vincente Fernandez, Linda Ronstadt and Pepe Aguilar as influences in their pieces.
Next, Baile Folklorico de WWU performed traditional Mexican and Colombian dances that draw heavily on folklore and folk culture. In other words, the type of performances that would be seen in villages— and not on the stage— in communities.
Afterwards, there was a hard-to-watch jalapeno eating contest, followed by a game of musical chairs. Then Cumbia Folklorico, the specifically Colombian side of the dance, gave another performance. It is a specific type of rhythm and dance that stems from the Caribbean region of Colombia.
El Compa Santiago then put on a musical performance, followed by a Pinata outside Humanities and a hop contest. Elsewhere, face painting was offered.
Alongside the events was a cluster of food trucks and various vendors from around the area, some of which included: jewelry by Maribel Galvan, Mexican Antojitos from Botanas Don Nacho and gifts from Amano Seattle.
The winner of the lowrider show got a $250 prize once all the ballots had been counted. The event was a family friendly day of celebration of Chicanx culture and a variety of facets that are integral parts of it.