Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ready for the Mundo Nuevo Rainbow Fiesta?

By S. Derrickson Moore dmoore@lcsun-news.com LAS CRUCES — This could be the fiesta to end all fiestas, literally. Though some of us think it’s really a beginning. Planning is under way for a new fiesta: Mundo Nuevo, Una Celebracion de la Vida, (New World Fiesta, A Celebration of Life) for — you guessed it — Dec. 21 and 22, to celebrate fresh starts and new beginnings. Fred Stern and I decided it was a fiesta whose time had come when we were strolling around Las Cruces during a recent Downtown Ramble. He’d just returned from a trip through Europe and South America and we were reviewing the global talk about Hopi prophecies and the Mayan calendar and assorted apocalyptic theories. We decided some counter-programming could be in order and I asked Fred if he’d be willing to make a rainbow that day. Fred, who’s been based in Silver City and Las Cruces for most of the past two decades, is a rambling guy with an eclectic background in arts and science who can, as he puts it, “make natural rainbows in the sky. I work with local fire departments to pump water into the air to create an artificial rainfall, which refracts the sun’s light to form rainbows as large as 2,000 feet across.” Fred’s made rainbows for American Cancer Society Relay for Life events, the Make a Wish Foundation, Camp Quality for Children with Cancer, Camp Sundown, the Alzheimer’s Association, the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Portland Blues Festival supporting the Food Bank, the Potsdam Eutopia Festival, Sweden’s Stockholm Water Festival, The Hague Appeal for Peace, a Palestinian-Israeli Peace Conference in Israel and Gaza, and the Colorado River Tribes protesting the placement of a nuclear dump site on sacred land, and a rainbow over the United Nations Building in New York City “as a visual metaphor for world peace.” In Las Cruces, he’s created rainbows for Court Youth Center, Hospice and Alzheimer’s Awareness Day. We got to talking and decided it would be nice to recruit other artists and kindred souls who see Dec. 21 as a new beginning. Fred will go to the Las Cruces City Council at 1 p.m. Monday on behalf of the nonprofit Rainbow Around the World Foundation to ask for “the use Young Park and the help of the fire department to once again create a Las Cruces rainbow. The event will be dedicated to the Children’s Crisis center and Jardín de los Niños, who will benefit from any proceeds stirred up by the day,” he said. He’s looking for entertainers, artists and anyone else who’d like to help with the event. If you’d like to be involved, contact rainbowfred@g-mail.com. As Las Cruces Style regulars may recall, I’ve always taken rainbows personally, and tend to round up coworkers and anyone else in the territory to take a break and appreciate whatever bow appears. Las Cruces remains the only place I’ve even seen triple rainbows. I even saw a snowbow here one frosty day. I love the Biblical pledge of a rainbow covenant in Genesis 9:13, after Noah and the floods. In these troubled times, I think it would be a nice gesture to make a rainbow and pledge our own covenant with higher powers — and our best selves. If, as I suspect, the world goes on, what better beginning than a covenant to build a new and better world, to care for the next generation, clean up and get ready for a new start? S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at (575) 541-5450. Follow her on Twitter @DerricksonMoore.

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