Kaliente employee Christmas party was … well, Kaliente!

Kaliente owners Alberto and Dan showed their appreciation to their employees Tuesday night with a Christmas party. Along with their friends, Kaliente’s staff put on a party that showed why they’re called … Kaliente. Hot stuff, baby! (Jerome Larez/Dallas Voice)

—  Steve Ramos

Drawing Dallas • Digna

Singer and spokesmodel Digna Mederos balances multifarious interests in her life

MARK STOKES  | Illustrator
mark@markdrawsfunny.com

Name and age: Digna Mederos, 26

Spotted at: 7-11 at Oak Lawn and Maple

Occupation: Marketing/promotions, spokesperson, brand ambassador, actress

This lovely Cuban-Mexican-American with the warm smile and long legs was born in Dallas and raised in neighboring Ennis. She was a gorgeous child with personality to boot and her Cuban father nourished her burgeoning interest in performing with ballet classes (since age 3), singing, dancing, voice and piano classes.

Her World, the Stage. Digna attended community college for commercial music, and then switched her study to music theory and dance at a performing arts school in Corona, Calif. Her student life was put on hold when she was chosen as one of the finalists in “La Academia,” a Big Brother/American Idol type program produced in Mexico by Azteca-America. Although she didn’t ultimately find herself in the final cast, the experience gave her a new perspective on the world of performing for television. You can also spot her in numerous local television commercials.

Digna has an incredible singing voice, honed from an early age. Her natural beauty and vocal chops won her the title of Miss Kaliente, after three nights of stiff competition. The competitors were selected from three categories: swimsuit, formalwear and talent. She borrowed a dress from a drag queen, who helped her adjust it to fit her. Her win was guaranteed when she sang “No Me Queda Mas,” one of Selena’s most popular songs.

Digna’s hobbies include attending art shows, tennis and Asian cuisine

(Korean, Thai and Vietnamese are her favorites).

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 16, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Razzle Dazzle Dallas returns to Cedar Springs

 

Revived event will span 5 days with a variety of new features

DAVID TAFFET | Staff Writer
taffet@dallasvoice.com

When organizers decided to revive Razzle Dazzle Dallas, they made the event bigger than it had ever been. And Scott Whittall, president of the Cedar Springs Merchants Association said that the five-day event just keeps growing.

For example, after rain forced the postponement last weekend of a sidewalk sale and antique car show scheduled for Cedar Springs, the events were added to the Razzle Dazzle schedule.

Razzle Dazzle begins on Wednesday, June 1, with the Cedar Springs Wine Walk and Dog Walk. Participating merchants will serve free wine to anyone who has purchased a $5 wine glass. The Humane Society will set up pet stations along the street to make the event dog friendly.

Thursday, June 2, is the Jagermeister Oak Lawn Pub Crawl. A party bus will shuttle partygoers to participating nightclubs off of Cedar Springs. Participants can travel from club to club in their own cars or park in one place and ride the party bus.

Four Oak Lawn bars will offer a variety of entertainment, contests, dancers and more. The party runs from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. and participating clubs include BJ’s NXS, Zippers, the Brick/Joe’s and Kaliente.

Metro Ball begins at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 3, and is the weekend’s major AIDS fundraiser.

The party will be held at Station 4 until midnight and includes dancing, raffles, a silent auction and entertainment by Deborah Cox. Tickets are $25 in advance and available at GDMAF.org or at Skivvies or $30 at the door.

The event benefits the Greg Dollgener Memorial AIDS Fund, which provides financial assistance to people with HIV and AIDS for critical needs when resources are exhausted through other local organizations.

Two additional events have been scheduled for VIP ticket holders. The Melrose Hotel will host a reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. featuring Pinnacle flavored vodkas.

The original founders of Razzle Dazzle Dallas will be honored at that reception.

The Round-Up Saloon will hold a late-night private party with hors d’ouevres on the upstairs deck for VIP ticket holders.

VIP tickets are $100 and include five days of free reserved parking at ilume, a $100 merchant coupon book for the Wednesday Wine Walk and more.

Each VIP ticket holder will be entered into a drawing to win dinner, a one-night stay at the Worthington Hotel in Fort Worth and tickets to the musical Chicago at Bass Hall.

Whittall said producers of the show contacted CSMA to offer the giveaway as a promotion for the tour coming because one of the songs in the musical is called Razzle Dazzle.

About 50 autos from Classic Chassis Car Club will be parked along Cedar Springs Road on Saturday until 4 p.m. for an antique and classic car show. Many of the street’s merchants will be offering discounts during the day at a sidewalk sale.

The street closes to vehicular traffic at 4 p.m. for the main event that begins at 7 p.m.

Cazwell will appear on the main stage with Cheer Dallas, Billy Halliday, The Bright, Uptown Players, Chaz Marie, the Gary Floyd Trio, Anton Shaw and the drag-based performance group Something Fabulous!!!

A female impersonator stage will be set up on the deck at Woody’s Sports and Video Bar beginning at 10 p.m.

DJ/VJ Mickey Briggs of Dallas and the dance sounds of DJ Tim Pfleuger from OZ in New Orleans will alternate on a dance stage at Cedar Springs Road at Knight Street.

About 40 community groups will have booths with information and activities. A late addition to the Razzle Dazzle line up is a Midway with carnival games, dunking booths, a mechanical bull and an obstacle course.

Admission to the street is free but Whittall said that this is a fundraiser. Beer sales from booths will go toward the donation to charities. Midway sales and collections from participating vendors and organizations will benefit agencies.

A closing party and tea dance will be held at TMC: The Mining Company on Sunday, June 5. Miss and Mr. Razzle Dazzle Dallas will be crowned at the Brick on Sunday, with the contest beginning at 10 p.m.

Whittall said they are hoping to attract 20,000 to 30,000 people for the street party. He said the last time Razzle Dazzle was staged in 2003, an estimated 35,000 people attended.

The Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau has been promoting the week nationally.

Veronica Torres of the DCVB said, “We’re marketing Razzle Dazzle Dallas as a destination event.”

She said that they’ve been promoting weekend stays in Dallas through Facebook and Twitter and on their GLBT Dallas site. The DCVB featured the event at trade shows nationally including at a recent International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association convention.

Whittall said the event has been entirely underwritten so all proceeds will go to the beneficiaries — Youth First Texas, Resource Center Dallas, AIDS Interfaith Network, Cedar Springs Merchants Association Beautification Fund, AIDS Arms, Legacy Counseling/Founders Cottage, Lone Star Ride and Legal Hospice

—  John Wright

Pride Fiesta at Club Exklusive on Sunday benefits LULAC scholarship recipients, AIDS Arms

Kaliente Management, Bravo Groups, Noches Latinas and LULAC 4871 have come together to raise money for a good cause.

FROM STAFF REPORTS

On Sunday, the weather promises to be hot like summer and the entertainment at the 2011 Cinco De Mayo Pride Fiesta is forecasted to be muy caliente!

The management of Kaliente and Club Exklusive will once again host Pride Fiesta this Sunday, May 8, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., at Club Exklusive’s outside premises, 4207 Maple Ave. in Dallas. The event is free and open to the public.

On the main Budweiser Stage folklorico dance troupes, live singers, drag performances of Latin America’s most famous artists, and festive mariachis will continue the Cinco De Mayo holiday well into Sunday evening.

Food, games and refreshment booths, along with local artists, will be featured at this outdoor event for the whole family.

Pride Fiesta is an annual benefit that helps raise funds for the philanthropic projects of League of United Latin American Citizens’ LGBT chapter, LULAC 4871 – The Dallas Rainbow Council. Event proceeds will go toward the group’s Jesus Chairez — LULAC 4871 scholarship and to AIDS Arms Inc.

This is the third year for Pride Fiesta, which was originally held inside Kaliente night club and raised funds through generous patrons and drag performers donating their tips.

“This year Kaliente’s management decided to kick it up a notch and make it outside during the day, like a block party,” said Jesse Garcia, president of LULAC 4871. “I’m so grateful to the staff and entertainers at Kaliente and Club Exklusive for helping the LULAC Rainbow Council make a difference in the lives of young scholars and for supporting the largest AIDS services organization in North Texas that is currently expanding its clinic to help more people with HIV/AIDS.”

Budweiser, the Dallas Tavern Guild, Bravo Groups, and local Latino social networking group Noches Latinas have also been instrumental in making the 2011 Cinco De Mayo Pride Fiesta bigger and better, according to Garcia.

Along with favorite Mexican delicacies like tacos, tamales, tostadas and elotes, booths from Lambda Legal, LifeWalk and Resource Center Dallas will be featured.

Voter registration and HIV testing will be available on site.

A special guest at Pride Fiesta will be North Dallas High School graduate and University of Texas student Joseph Zuniga, this year’s winner of the 2011 Jesus Chairez – LULAC 4871 Scholarship. Zuniga, an openly gay Latino, is majoring in business. Zuniga’s father is currently working two jobs to help put him through school where Zuniga is currently excelling in courses and tutoring others to succeed as well. Zuniga’s resources go straight to tuition and cost-of-living expenses. He has had to borrow school books and check out books weekly from the library to keep up this semester.

“We are very proud of Joseph and the obstacles he overcame to make it at UT,” said Garcia. “We are also raising money for two additional candidates whose stories were so compelling we needed to award them as well.”

Diney Hobgood, is a senior at DISD’s Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School. This young straight ally who left home at an early age turned her situation around by concentrating on her studies and excelling in school. Hobgood is active in her school’s LULAC Youth Council, where she got to learn more about her Latino heritage and work on community service projects. She plans to go into medicine to help others.

Another young woman going into the field of medicine is Mignote Chamiso. This young scholar born in Ethiopia is on her way to realizing her American Dream. Placing No. 2 in her class at the Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, Chamiso has been very active in community service and is a proud equal rights supporter of LGBT and Latino people.

“Both Hobgood and Chamiso will be awarded $500 by the LULAC 4871 council, and if Pride Fiesta is a success, we want to fully fund these young women at $1,000 each,” Garcia said. “These young scholars will lead the next generation into a more tolerant and accepting future.”

LULAC 4871 Board Member Melinda Rios, from left, scholarship recipient Joseph Zuniga and LULAC 4871 board member Sean Lozano.
LULAC 4871 President Jesse Garcia, scholarship recipient Diney Hobgood, and LULAC 4871 board member Sean Lozano.
LULAC 4871 board member Melinda Rios, from left, scholarship recipient Mignote Chamiso and LULAC 4871 board member Sean Lozano.

—  John Wright

Parade proceeds donation

FOR THE YOUTH  | Officials with Dallas Tavern Guild presents Youth First Texas Development Director Sam Wilkes and Board Chair T.J. Wilson a check for $7,500 representing proceeds from the 2010 Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade during a recent DTG meeting. Pictured are, front from left, Culley Johnson, Dallas Eagle; Howard Okun, The Brick; Allen Pierce, The Round-Up Saloon; G. Maywald, BJ’s; Wilkes and Wilson, Youth First Texas; Andy Krumm, BJ’s; Jack Adams, Club Wet; Jesse Avalos, BJ’s and Keith Lackie, Klub Wet; back, from left, Matt Louzau, Barbara’s Pavillion; Dan Faust, Kaliente; Mark Frazier, Dallas Eagle; Greg Kilhoffer, Caven Enterprises; Frank Holland, Pekrs; Gary Miller, Round-Up Saloon; Chris Weinfurter, Woody’s.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 10, 2010.

—  Michael Stephens