Échale, a free block party that showcases Latin music’s eclectic blend of national and international talents, has remained a family-friendly, food-frenzy, feel-fine affair that simultaneously brings out the best of the Pearl and San Antonio for a full day of flavor that you should definitely “check out.”

The event – more formally known as Échale Latino Music Estyles –will take place on Labor Day, which falls on Monday, Sept. 5, and will entertain the audience with the sounds of local favorite Los Nahuatlatos, and Austin’s El Tule, DJ Manolo Black, and headliner Money Chicha.

The party is from noon-6 p.m. in the Pearl parking lot under U.S. Highway 281 north, and is presented by the Hispanic Leadership Development Foundation – part of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce – and will receive a portion of the day’s sales to benefit programs such as the Alexander Briseño Leadership Program, the Latina Leadership Institute, and Core4STEM Expo supporting STEM education for low-income students in San Antonio.

The diverse crowd of Échale takes it all in underneath Highway 281.  Photo courtesy of Jessica Giesey
The diverse crowd of Échale takes it all in underneath Highway 281. Photo courtesy of Jessica Giesey

Dos Equis, the official sponsor of the event alongside Red Bull, will be available and you can fill your stomachs on food from Southerleigh, Botika, The GranaryLick Honest Ice Creams, and The Good Kind (Tim the Girl’s new outfit). Local artisan vendors Very That, Las Ofrendas, Pedazos de Maria, BarbacoApparel, Sweet Craft JewelrySnake Hawk Press, and more will be on site selling various handcrafted goods.

The Rivard Report also will be there as official media sponsors. You can meet the crew and find out more about helping us become 1,000 members strong.

Échale got its name from renowned local artist Cruz Ortiz when the festival first started. From the beginning, the celebration was about presenting something distinctly Latin American that feels different, new, and interesting, said the Pearl’s Chief Marketing Officer Elizabeth Fauerso.

“We wanted to create a space and a series that could focus on an innovative space for alternative/contemporary Latin,” Fauerso said of the musical philosophy. “We try to have an established artist and leave room for people that are more experimental.”

Nina Diaz lays it down at Échale. Photo courtesy of Jessica Giesey
Nina Diaz lays it down at Échale. Photo courtesy of Jessica Giesey

The block party has hosted heavy-hitters such as the Mexican Institute of Sound, La Santa Cecilia, and international artists from countries like Panama, Chile, and Argentina. San Antonio artists Bombasta and Nina Diaz – who you can see for free at next weekend’s Mission Pachanga – as well as many innovative mariachi groups have played the stage and brought some local loco to la gente.

“We always include at least one SA act, but in the world of music I don’t think that being territorial is creative,” Fauerso said of the Austin-heavy lineup for this Labor Day. “You create the opportunity for collaboration, help support a musical crossroads. That’s part of what we want to do at Échale – expose our musicians to the incredible diversity of what’s happening here and in Latin America.”

While the day of dancing, dining, and digging in originally was a way to bring life to the amphitheater along the River Walk, the construction of Hotel Emma and general expansion in that area moved Fauerso and crew to transform the Pearl’s pachanga into the present-day block party setting under the highway.

“The kids are dancing, abuelo y abuela are dancing,” Fauerso said. “Great food, ice cream, artisans, and a great event for the family on a holiday weekend.”

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Top image: San Antonio takes in the rhythm and flavor of a mariachi group at Échale. Photo courtesy of Jessica Giesey.

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Adam Tutor

Adam Tutor is a Trinity University graduate, a saxophonist who performs with local bands Soulzzafying, Odie & the Digs, and Volcan, and a freelance music contributor to the Rivard Report.