The excitement in Puerto Vallarta last April when the city announced the International Fireworks Festival with five participating nations would come to Puerto Vallarta was uncontrollable. The media and social media were all abuzz.
The city promised 11-days of a fireworks festival bonanza with five nations participating beginning December 20 and lighting up the sky into New Year’s Eve. Adding to the excitement of the festival was the October announcement that concerts from Lila Downs, Plástico, Los 3 Zenzontles, Sonora Dinamita, and others would be included in the 11-day festival.
It wasn’t until three weeks before the festival was set to begin on December 20th that the official event schedule was released. After six months of event promoting by the city and media, the final schedule left many scratching their heads just days ahead of the event.
Noticeably missing from the event schedule was five days, the dates had been changed with the expectation that no one would notice. After six months of promoting the event from December 20-31, the final schedule release only had events from December 25-31.
The other thing missing from the final schedule was the international participation of the international festival, what once was promoted as a 5-nation festival had dwindled down to only France. Losing participation from the USA, Canada, Germany, and Italy, all countries previously promoted as participants, might explain why the event name made a sudden change to LuminiaFest in early December, distancing itself from the name “International” Fireworks Festival.
LuminiaFest will be a great success because Puerto Vallarta has been a top New Year’s Eve destination for national travelers for years, leaving little room for failure when you add free concerts to the already popular travel season. The event has missed the mark in planning during what seems to be a struggle between LuminiaFest and the City of Puerto Vallarta that only left would-be tourists confused.