TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -For years, the El Casino Ballroom has been operating with about half the space it used to. Sunday, they are raising funds to near double their dance floor size and finish their expansion.
“The floor itself, if it could talk, it would tell you a lot of things about the El Casino Ballroom,” said Gil Federico, with the El Casino Ballroom.
According to their website, in 1991, a windstorm ripped off the roof, damaging much of the iconic building that has been around since 1947. Most of the damage has been restored, except for the back half. Exposed brick and concrete are all that has been rebuilt. A stark contrast to the large wood dance floor that used to cover.
“We want to finish this,” said Federico.
He estimated they need $250,000 dollars to finish the expansion, something they’ve been working toward, but little things get in the way.
“Everything is more expensive,” said Federico. “We get money and say we’re going to fix this. Then, all of a sudden one of our toilets breaks.”
With the inaugural mariachi festival on Sunday, the Ballroom hopes it can be a start and raise around $5,000. The event will showcase more than a dozen mariachi bands.
Doors open around 11 a.m. and the party will go until 8:30 p.m. Admission is $10, which includes a plate of food.