Traditions run deep at the University of Houston, and one that continues to inspire the Cougar Community is Frontier Fiesta. The long- running festival celebrates Cougar Pride through live music, student performances, a carnival and other fun events. The 2014 edition of Frontier Fiesta will run March 20 – 22 on campus at Frontier Village (Spur 5 and University Drive – across from Campus Recreation Center).
“Frontier Fiesta weekend is a special time of year that allows the UH community to celebrate its traditions,” said Cedric Bandoh, president of the UH Student Government Association. “This student-led event brings the student body, alumni and the Houston community together in a festival setting to also celebrate our western heritage.”
Frontier Village (resembling a western town) will host all Frontier Fiesta activities including musical performances from national music artists A Great Big World, B.o.B. and Love and Theft on the Bud Light Stage.
Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino comprise A Great Big World. The duo is recognized for singles including “This is the New Year” (performed on FOX series “Glee”) and “Say Something” (a collaboration with Christina Aguilera). A Great Big World performs at 9 p.m., March 20.
Hip hop superstar B.o.B. has released three albums on Grand Hustle Records – “B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray,” “Strange Clouds” and “Underground Luxury.” B.o.B. has collaborated with a number of major artists including Bruno Mars on the single “Nothin’ on You” (which earned a Soul Train Award for Best Song) and Hayley Williams on “Airplanes” (a Teen Choice award winner). B.o.B. performs at 10 p.m., March 21.
Country duo Love and Theft (Eric Gunderson and Stephen Barker Liles) hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts with “Angel Eyes” in 2012. The group also had a top 10 hit with “Runaway” in 2009. Love and Theft performs at 10 p.m., March 22.
In addition to star-studded concerts, student variety shows are a staple of Frontier Fiesta that showcase the talents of UH’s fraternities and sororities. Other event highlights include carnival booths, a barbecue cook-off and movie screenings (including Student Video Network Shorts Film Festival).
This year, the event will debut the Frontier Fiesta 5K for the Brave and Hope, Steps & A Cure patient and family walk (9 a.m., March 22) benefitting the Aplastic Anemia & Myelodysplastic Syndromes International Foundation.
In addition to providing three days of music and merriment to UH students, the event also awards scholarships to incoming Cougar freshmen. Scholarship funds are raised by current Coogs who reach out to community members for resources and assistance. The two students who raise the most funds earn the titles Mr. and Ms. Fiesta. This year, recent graduates also can contribute their time and energies to raising scholarship funds and earn the titles Mr. and Ms. Fiesta Young Alumni.
"Frontier Fiesta is important to the University of Houston because of its significance as one of the University's oldest traditions,” said Hunter Lewis, Frontier Fiesta chair. “It unifies the campus in celebration of school spirit, community, and Cougar pride.”
Frontier Fiesta has been staple of Cougar culture since the 1940s. In its earlier years, the event attracted a who’s who of Houstonians and Hollywood stars (Humphrey Bogart, James Garner). Life Magazine once proclaimed it as “the greatest college show on earth.”
“This is one of my favorite times of the year at UH,” Bandoh said. “With top notch headliners, variety shows, food and cherished moments with the UH family, I know this will be one of the best Fiestas to date. This event couldn’t happen without event chairman Hunter Lewis and his board, staff and volunteers. Their hard work put this event together.”