Published March 26, 2012
| Fox News Latino
The sound of norteño music, the taste of Mexican beer and cowboy boot clad Latinos standing around a metal fence waiting for the bull to be released. Sounds like any Mexican rodeo in the south or even in the American Southwest.
This one, however, is different. You walk outside of the Kingsbridge Armory and you're reminded by the street and the number 4 subway train clanging by that you are in New York’s Bronx Borough.
The armory, possibly the biggest in the world, had been vacant for over 18 years as the city, developers and residents argued over what to turn it into. At one point, it was going to be a shopping mall or a hockey rink.
Zamora Entertainment, one of the largest Latino promoters in the country, decided it would be worth fixing up and holding an event there for the Latino community.
So they did, throwing a hybrid Mexican rodeo, concert, lucha libre event that supposedly attracted 3,000 plus to this huge hollow armory in the Bronx.
The Bronx, as some might not know, is now 54 percent Latino. Mexicans, now the third largest Latino group in New York City, are projected to surpass Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, respectively, as the largest group by 2023, according to the U.S. Census.
And come they did. In their cowboy hats and boots, hundreds shelled out between $50 and $60 for access to something they may have missed culturally while making their home in New York City.
Tacos were served, limes were cut and Modelo Beer was given to the masses.
Corn on the cob loaded with butter or mayonnaise was also available, sort of like it is in Mexico.
Children played with bubble-blowing guns and watched as men dressed in ridiculous masks and tights wrestled in a dirty ring.
The bleachers surrounding a rodeo ring were packed and people crowed up to the fence as men tried to ride some pretty mean-looking bulls.
A rodeo clown dressed in drag antagonized the bulls then went into the crowd to jump on various men for comic relief.
Meanwhile, music played from the stage and couples held each other tightly as their favorite songs were played by men wearing flashy multi-color suits.
The flashier the better for everyone as the belt buckles, chains and shirts glistened in what little light crept into the old armory.
Being at the Mexican rodeo was one thing.
Being at a Mexican rodeo in the Bronx was something else.