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Rock the Block in a Bow Tie for El Rio!

by Jenn Hopkins

bowtielogoTie your best bow tie, or wear it as a corsage, wear it in your hair as long as you have one, and if you don’t, the Vecinos has you covered. September 24, 2016 will ring in the third annual Bow Tie Block Party hosted by the El Rio Vecinos: an organization of forty young professionals under forty, founded by El Rio Community Health Center, a local mainstay for health in Tucson.

What started as a black tie function three years ago has transformed into an unconventional take on the traditional gala-style fundraisers. “This year we are hosting it again at the Tucson Scottish Rite Cathedral,” said Sara Davis of the Vecinos, “it’s semi yacht rock-themed; we block off all of the streets around it and have food and music, free parking in the nearby garage. It is a lot of fun.”

Be prepared to walk the red carpet, enjoy some music by 80s and Gentlemen on the main stage or the beats of DJ Herm indoors. Tantalize your taste buds with local fare and sample the offerings of several breweries and bars. Elliot’s on Congress will once again be providing gourmet-infused vodka shots, complete with fancy ice luge.

What is sure to be the event of the season is a private party organized to raise money for children’s dental care—an often overlooked part of youth developmental health. For a child, poor dental care can lead to long-lasting and more serious health complications later in life. Last year, the foundation raised $65,000—money that went right back into the Tucson community.

“We get a list every year of the underfunded programs with El Rio, and then we talk to the teams in those programs and pick one that really needs to continue to run effectively in perpetuity. The last three years, we’ve chosen children’s dental.” said Davis.

“What’s really great is we are bringing a thousand people downtown on a Saturday night that may not have otherwise been there, we have close to seventy-five community partners and sponsors, but we do still need volunteers,” said Jill Rodriguez, El Rio's Development Coordinator. El Rio is one of the largest non-government employers in the downtown area.

“We try to utilize as many of the businesses down here that we can so we can highlight them as well. What’s great about hosting it at the Scottish Rite Cathedral is that, whatever the cost of the event, all those extra dollars go back into the historic preservation of the building,” added Davis.

If you’re interested in attending this year’s Bow Tie Block Party, tickets are $60 (a portion of which are tax-deductible), and come with five drink vouchers to help you kick off your night. The VIP experience is $90 a ticket, and well worth it for the private beverage tastings, chill-out rooms, swag bags, valet parking, and extra drink vouchers.

So remember to mark your calendars for September 24th, purchase those tickets while you still have a chance, and head to the Scottish Rite Cathedral from 7-11pm for the biggest party-for-a-cause that Downtown Tucson has to offer. You won’t regret it.


  • To buy tickets to the block party visit the EventBrite


  • Do you want to volunteer for the event? Call 520-205-4947 and ask for Jill Rodriguez.


  • If you are interested in applying or learning more about the El Rio Vecinos visit their Facebook page.