Relighting of Selena memorial set for Tuesday

Selena’s spotlight will shine bright again.

The bronze Selena memorial on Shoreline Boulevard and Peoples Street is getting new lights, which will be illuminated Tuesday.

“It will be a major difference, and people will see the Selena memorial in a different light than they have ever seen it,” said Dusty Durrill, who developed and funded the Selena sculpture.

The memorial, which was unveiled in 1997 two years after she was killed, originally had a fiber optic cable system for the lighting, but the lights began to dim.

When Durrill decided to replace the bulbs about a year ago, he noticed more than just the lights were in bad shape.

“I felt like it needed to be a bright part of the city,” he said. “It didn’t give it the glow it needed. It had mildew, and it’s been that way about 10 years.”

Durrill reached out to Your Sign Company for the repairs and staff decided the whole system needed to be replaced to include LED bulbs and a power saver.

“We’ve been working on it for a year to get the right lighting, make it cost effective, and provide something that won’t corrode on the bayfront,” company President Georganne Gasaway said. “It’s a key piece in Corpus Christi.”

Selena’s dad, Abraham Quintanilla, said the work to the memorial should have been done a long time ago, but he is glad that it is finally happening.

“I think it will be a little bit safer for people who want to go see the memorial at night or in the evening when it gets dark,” he said.

Army veteran Mario Gomez noticed the memorial’s poor upkeep and after complaining to the city about the lights not working and the graffiti on the walls, he took matters into his hands.

“This is a big tourist attraction and it represents our city,” he said. “So I took the initiative to clean it myself instead of complaining.”

Gomez, a Corpus Christi native, painted the walls and the area around the sculpture to make sure it looked decent in time for the relighting. He paid for the paint supplies out of his pocket.

“I considered Selena my neighbor,” he said.

The light installation took about a year, but Durrill said it will be a lot simpler to maintain and should last 10 years.

“It will make the Sparkling City on the bayfront,” he said.

if you go

What: Relighting of the Selena memorial

Where: Shoreline Boulevard and Peoples Street T-Head

When: 5:45 p.m. Tuesday

Caller.com

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