PACfest is an officially sanctioned Fiesta® event and this year the College is projecting attendance figures from 6,000 to 8,000. This year’s event will be held Thursday, April 24, 2014, from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.
PACfest is a non-alcoholic, family event. There is no admission fee, and a $5 parking fee after 11a.m., for vehicles without a current Alamo Colleges parking permit. It features a main stage with artistic and musical performers throughout the day, with the headliner event closing the festival. The headliner act begins at 7:30 p.m. and runs through 9 p.m. Approximately 50 food and arts & crafts vendors participate in the event. Vendors include student and community groups, and have a cross-section of cultural, social and nutritional offerings. Other concurrent activities taking place throughout the day include a children’s educational area, agricultural/nutritional areas, and a military display.
PACfest takes place on the campus of Palo Alto College, a two-year community college, and one of five of the Alamo Colleges. The college has a Spring 2014 student enrollment of approximately 8,300 students. Sixty-four percent of the students attending PAC are female and 60 percent of the overall student population is Hispanic. The median student age is 28.
Students can choose to take classes in a variety of formats at Palo Alto College. The majority of students enroll in traditional classroom instruction, but the College also offers internet courses, hybrid courses and courses offered during the evening and on weekends. Students can also choose to take classes in flex format (8 weeks), Maymester (three weeks), and Summer (6 weeks).The College offers traditional transfer programs in the arts and sciences, as well as certificates of completion and 2-year programs that prepare student to enter directly into the workforce.
PACfest has been an official Fiesta® event since 2004 and has grown in size and attendance with each passing year. Population growth notwithstanding, the economic growth and educational expansion in the south San Antonio places Palo Alto College in the center of activity for decades to come. The marketing potential to a traditionally under-marketed south San Antonio population will mean boundless financial opportunities for those who target this newly educated and economically sound population.
PACfest will continue to promote its family-friendly image to the surrounding community and to those living in the rural counties it serves. Future plans are to have PACfest become a major fundraiser for at-risk students looking to continue their education at the post-secondary level. Scholarship fundraising for student wanting to access higher education will be a major goal for future PACfest events.