By Debra Gonzalez
What better way to spend your Labor Day weekend than dancing with friends to the sounds of conjunto music and enjoying great food?
Waco Missions Club member Frank DeLeon said the club began with mostly charity work.
“We pulled together a baseball team and we were playing under the St. Francis Church organization, and we called ourselves St. Francis Missions,” DeLeon said. “Then we decided to have an organization of our own, where we started donating to charities like the churches, needy people and other stuff. We’re nonprofit. We do have dances and quinceaneras and weddings… but we do have a lot of fundraisers for people that lost families and people that are in need.”
They have since turned to helping the community.
“We have events like an Easter egg hunt and a Christmas party for the kids,” DeLeon said. “We do have our events hall for dances and business parties and softball tournaments. We also have a baseball team that we provide uniforms for and we feed the kids.”
Their annual pre-Labor Day event brings music, food and fun.
“We have a pretty well known group participating as far as providing the music,” DeLeon said. “We will have food stands out there and we stress for people not to bring any food or beverages because vendors will be selling those out there.”
The original Los Hermanos Farias, previously of La Tropa F, are back together and are celebrating with a reunion tour that will lead them around the South from Texas to Nevada to Arizona.
The band (as La Tropa F) won a Tejano Music Award for best album of the year in 1993 for its album “Right on Track” and has recently released a new album titled “Back on Track” in May.
David Farias, accordion player and singer of Los Hermanos Farias, says the band originally started under his father.
“Los Hermanos Farias started back when my dad was playing in the band and it used to be Los Compadres Allegres,” Farias said. “It was my dad, an uncle of mine and my two older brothers. It was just a four-piece band, and from there, it merged into my older brother Joe Farias starting Los Hermanos Farias. It was John, my other brother on drums, and he brought in Jesse on bass and myself on accordion and singing, and my other brother on keyboards. It was the six brothers of Los Hermanos Farias.”
In the ’90s, Los Hermanos Farias became La Tropa F.
“I guess to the fans, we were the brand new group that came out,” Farias said. “We were coming out of Los Hermanos Farias to La Tropa F. I did 34 years with Tropa and I haven’t been with them for eight years now as far as myself playing the accordion. We’ve more or less been a musical family band all these years.”
A few years after Farias left La Tropa F, he found that his brothers also left.
“There was a party, and my boss said ‘why don’t you call your brothers?’ so I did,” Farias said. “We did a little Christmas party and two days later it was on YouTube and Facebook and we started getting calls. I got a call from Julian Johnson, which is my label now, RO Records, that he wanted to sign Los Hermanos Farias. Wow. A year later the CD came out and it’s doing great.”
Farias says the fans like to see them back together.
“To do this again is an honor,” Farias said. “It’s good to be side by side with them again after I’ve done it all my life.”
Though they haven’t been to Waco in years, Farias is looking forward to it.
“I’m very excited to go back,” Farias said. “There’s a lot of fans in Waco that are fans of Los Hermanos Farias and Tropa back in the day. Hopefully we’ll see everybody there Sunday.”
The event will begin at 5 p.m. with the bands beginning at 8 p.m. at Waco Missions Club, which is located at 3316 J.J. Flewellen Drive.
Cover charge is $10 or free for those 12 or under.
For more information contact the Waco Missions Club at 254-867-8332.