There was baton twirling, dancing, fiesta-themed koozie making, singing, beer chugging, selfie posting, Christopher Walken impressions, and “Jimmy Crack Corn” sung as Neil Diamond.
The Know Your Noms event for Centro San Antonio’s King and Queen of Downtown fundraiser did not disappoint.
Friends, family, Geekdom members, and downtowners turned out at the Geekdom Event Center on Tuesday evening to meet the six nominees campaigning for the King and Queen of Downtown title.
The event was a chance for the public to get to know the nominees and for everyone to find out what was going to happen during the #10secondtalent portion of the evening. Fundraising for the King and Queen of Downtown benefits Centro educational programming and events, including the Julián Castro Future Urban Leaders Scholarship Program, Urban Renaissance Luncheon series, and the Fall and Winter series of free family-friendly events at Travis Park.
“We are grateful for the time and enthusiasm of each of the nominees, this fundraiser is for a great cause and tonight everyone had some fun,” said Pat DiGiovanni, CEO and president of Centro.
The nominees for Queen are Diane Coliz, Ruby Guarnero, and Stephanie Guerra. For King, the nominees are JohnDavid A. Griffin, Zac Harris, and Jeret Peña.
The event opened with all nominees being asked what their first act would be if they were to be King or Queen of Downtown.
Diane wants to work with Centro to host more events downtown like Let it Snow and Fall Fest and Jeret would create a signature Centro Cocktail to be served at his three bars – with a portion of each drink sold benefiting Centro.
Zac was asked, “B plus cycle, B cycle, or B minus cycle?”
Zac said that San Antonio sometimes looks to other cities for inspiration but that when it comes to B-Cycle, other cities look to us – “unquestionably B plus Cycle.”
Stephanie Guerra, known popularly for her support of nightlife and local music, acquiesced to her question and said San Antonio maybe could use a Crossfit puppy rave. She did not clarify exactly what that means.
Ruby was asked to clear up rumors about her dog Lolita’s Instagram account, and confirmed the recent dog donkey piñata photo was in fact Lolita.
During the “Complete This Sentence” portion of the evening Jeret Pena was given the phrase “Cocktails can make downtown…” Jeret paused for a moment before smiling and saying, “That’s it: Cocktails can make downtown.” This elicited a round of applause from the audience and other nominees.
The rapport between the nominees was more than friendly and supportive. They laughed and joked and encouraged each other to help raise funds. No mud was slung. When Stephanie was asked to complete the sentence, “In West Philadelphia…” she only got two words in before other nominees and the audience joined her in a refrain of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song.
Clearly, the questions were hard-hitting.
After a round of high fives to celebrate the Will Smith sing-a-long the nominees moved to the round of “Ten Second Talents.” When the judge notified the nominees last week that they would need a 10 second talent he did not know what a 10 second talent was – we all looked forward to finding out what this segment would bring.
John David kicked things off by putting his decades of dance training to use and Ruby showed everyone how to make a Fiesta-theme koozie in less than ten seconds. The judge suspected that it was sleight of hand but she won favor when she presented the other nominees with koozies of their own.
When Diane asked if she was ready to take center stage, she yelled out to someone in the audience, “Is my music ready?” Just like that Chubby Checker’s “Twist” was playing and Diane was regaling the crowd with a baton routine the likes of which Geekdom has never seen.
How was this 10-second talent going to be topped?
Zac, who was holding an Alamo Golden Ale, asked everyone who was enjoying free drinks provided by Freetail Brewing, to stand up for a cheers and lead everyone in the chant of ziggy zaggy ziggy zaggy oi oi oi then proceeded to drink his beer in nine seconds.
Jeret broke new ground by demonstrating two 10-second talents. He took the absurdity of the evening to a new level with his rendition of Neil Diamond singing “Jimmy Crack Corn” and then breaking into a Christopher Walken impression encouraging everyone to vote him King of Downtown.
Having already had a “drop the mic” moment earlier in the event, Stephanie was hesitant to perform yet another talent, but then realized that she could tweet a group selfie in 10 seconds. The nominees gathered round and audience members quickly checked their Twitter accounts to confirm Stephanie’s claim. Not only did she take a fantastic photo that included all the nominees, but she posted it in 10 seconds, capturing the Centro logo in the background.
The event concluded with questions from the audience. Nominees were asked about their legacy plans, their commitment to downtown shopping and dining, and their astrological signs. We all look for different things in our leadership.
When the dancing, singing, and laughing were over, the nominees headed to various fundraising after parties which will continue through this weekend. We are grateful to have such a lively downtown community and wholehearted nominees. The opportunity to support your choice for King and Queen of Downtown and the Castro Scholarship and Centro’s educational programs continues through the weekend. Be sure to vote with your dollars and we’ll see you at next year’s party.
*Featured/top image: “10 Second Talent” royal selfie. Photo by Stephanie Guerra.
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