CirqueCon: The Unofficial Gatherings of Cirque du Soleil Passionates



CirqueCon 2009: Monterrey!

Thursday, September 24, 2009 to Sunday, September 27, 2009
Holiday Inn Parque Fundidora | Zona Centro, Macroplaza
Monterrey, Nuevo Leon (MEX)

For the sixth time we gathered, this year south of the United States’ border in Monterrey, Mexico.

Although we remembered the very last page in our CirqueCon 2008: Tokyo programme book mentioned our next confirmed event would be CirqueCon 2010: Hollywood, we never did say that we weren’t gathering in 2009 (cheeky of us…). So when CirqueCon 2010: Hollywood became delayed (now CirqueCon 2011: Hollywood!), and we received a passionate plea from Rodolfo about taking CirqueCon to Mexico for Dralion, we just couldn’t pass up his enthusiasm!

Monterrey (pronounced with a heavy 'rrrrr') is a very modern Mexico city situated in the northeastern state of Nuevo León, approximately 150 miles south of the United States border. This state capital boasts a populace that ranks it third behind the Greater Mexico City and Greater Guadalajara metropolises and is home to many businesses, industries, universities and families. Throughout the weekend we experienced only a little of what Monterrey, and really all of Mexico, had to offer. But what an amazing weekend we had!

[ CirqueCon 2009 Team | Our Members | Social Events |
| Cirque Activities | Our Event Schedule | Thank Yous ]


  • Richard "Richasi" Russo -- Event Chairman
    1. Besides handling all the duties of “the one in charge,” Ricky built, redesigned and maintained CirqueCon’s website, wrote member communication emails, handled the membership database, created and constructed the programme book, was co-Cirque du Soleil liaison between CirqueCon and Dralion and helped our on-site coordinator (and guide) – Rodolfo – as much as possible.

  • Rodolfo Elizondo -- Event Coordinator
    1. Rodolfo is the orchestrator for CirqueCon 2009 in Monterrey. He has done the entire on-site work and communication in Monterrey with hotel, sponsors, suppliers, ticket agents, city government, and with Cirque du Soleil in Mexico. Virtually everything experienced in Mexico is because of Rodolfo's enthusiasm. He has also planned all the social activities for everyone to enjoy this year.

  • Keith Johnson -- Treasurer
    1. Although not with us this year, Keith joined us behind the scenes handling all the membership payments sent to us via check and Paypal. He has also been a sounding board whenever needed.


    An amazing number of 70 passionates joined us this year in Mexico, the first time we have taken our event south of the border. Breaking it down, 30% were from the United States (representing California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, New York Ohio, Tennessee, and Washington) with the remaining 70% from Mexico. Of those 70%, 45% were from the host city (Monterrey), while the remaining 55% represented other parts of Mexico, such as Tijuanam, Mexico City, Nuevo Laredo, Saltillo, Guadalaja, Merida, Torreon, Apodaca and San Luis Potosi. We had an amazing and passionate group of people who truly lived the CirqueCon motto: Vive Apasionadamente - Live Passionately!


    One of the most important aspects of CirqueCon is facilitating activities and events that allow our guests the opportunity to mingle and acquainted with one another in an understanding and relaxed environment. It's something that brings us together as a community. This year we had four wonderful activities planned: Meet & Greet at the Paseo Santa Lucia, Monterrey City Bus Tour, Bohemia Night at Nueva Luna, and our Group Meal at Hacienda San Angel.

    Meet & Greet @ Paseo Santa Lucia

    This year our traditional Meet & Greet was a nice stroll around Parque Fundidora's famous Blast Furnace museum and the boat tour around the Santa Lucia Riverwalk.

    The Horno 3 blast furnace was once part of the now defunct Monterrey Steel Foundry Company and was in use from 1900 until the company’s bankruptcy in 1986. Two years later the park was born. Horno 3 is a museum these days, and you can take a trip to the top of this monstrosity for one spectacular view of the city. It’s 130ft (40m) from ground-level and is on a slated platform - so not only can you see all around but below you too; hold on! The incline chair (that seats about eight) will take you up to the top for about 80 pesos (approx $8.00) and from there all of Monterrey opens up to you.

    Below, while patrons explore the Foundry History Gallery (a look at the events which forged the steel industry in Mexico), the Steel Gallery (a look at a productive industrial processes, and the Blast Furnace show (a multi-sensorial show complete with stunning effects simulating the workings at No 3. Blast Furnace), you can take in the relative peace and quiet in the skies above the park. You really get a fantastic view of your surroundings from here including the fantastic ‘M’-shaped Cerro de la Silla, my hotel (the Holiday Inn at Parque Fundidora) and the Grand Chapiteau itself (sitting next to Plaza Sesamo, a Sesame Street theme park.)

    One of the most interesting and best modes of transportation in Monterrey is the boat on the Paseo Santa Lucia, an artificial water canal that connects Parque Fundidora 2.5-kilometers to the east with Museo de Historia/Plaza 400 (Museum of Mexican History) at the Macroplaza. On the way you pass beyond the park, through beautiful fountains and other waterworks displays, around a whirlpool maker and finally into the water-filled Plaza 400 at the Macroplaza, entertained not only by the city lights around you but by the tour guide driving the boat. Fantastico!

    Monterrey City Bus Tour

    One of Rodolfo's favorite hobbies is taking groups of his fellow countrymen (and women) to Walt Disney World for weeks at a time for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. He used his experience to take us around his home city. Monterrey is full of fantastic museums, wonderful natural sights and amazing viewpoints that are sure to dazzle (such as the Macroplaza and Atirantado Bridge). Right after Registration we boarded the "magic bus" for a twelve-hour tour of Fabulous Monterrey. We visited museums (MUNE and Mexican History), shopping centers (Paseo San Pedro Mall & Morelos Shopping Plaza), natural wonders (Garcia Caves & Cañon de la Huasteca mountain) and more!

    Bohemia Night @ Nueva Luna

    With four (4) passionates per table, we were treated to the Parrillada Grill, which included Arrachera & Sirloin steak fajita and Chicken Fajita accompanied by sausage roasted in cheese, all served in a hot frying pan on a bed of onions, with peppers. Accompanyments included guacamole, chili pepers, and goaded and crisp totopos. Mmm! Two (2) non alcoholic drinks (soft drinks, lemonade, etc) are included per person. Any other extra beverages (including all alcoholic beverages) was available by request at every person own expense (wow, did the tequila flow!) Entertainment included speclail live music including Rock, Pop, Salsa and North Mexican traditional music. Bus transportation to and from the Holiday Inn Parque Fundidora to Nueva Luna Restaurant was included. Return trips back to the hotel ocurred in three incriments, in case anyone wished to leave a little earlier at 1:00am, 2:00am or 3:00am.


    Cirque du Soleil opened their arms and hearts as passionates embraced all things Dralion. We kicked off our first activity Thursday afternoon down at the gates of the Big Top. We met Ana Cuellar, La Nouba silk artist, for an impromptu chat then took our seats inside the Grand Chapiteau to watch an amazing training session featuring Double Trapeze and Trampoline, an act added to the show in recent times. After training concluded, Bruce Mather, Artistic Director for Dralion, and a couple of trampoline artists joined us for a question an answer session. Before long our time with Dralion had come to an end, but not before Bruce announced a surprise - we were to join them Saturday evening between shows for a back-stage group photograph with a few of the artists! WOW!


12:00pm - 3:45pm
CirqueCon Registration Area Open

Join Ricky and Rodolfo at a special signed area setup within the Holiday Inn Parque Fundidora to pick up your programme packet, Group Meal, City Tour, and Bohemia Night tickets, your Badge and other CirqueCon goodies (such as your T-shirt!). Or, just come say "hola!", we'll be there!

4:15pm - 6:30pm
Le Grand Chapiteau
Activities at Dralion


Late in the afternoon we're kicking off our celebration at Dralion's white Grand Chapiteau with a unique chance to see artists training on a new act since the show was last in country - the Trampo Wall! While we wait at the gates, we'll have an opportunity to talk with La Nouba silk artist Ana Cuellar, native of Monterrey. We'll also meet with Bruce Mather, Dralion's Artistic Director and with 2 artists for a 30-minute Q&A. Although fast-paced, we'll also have the opportunity to take a group foto with Bruce and the artists in front of the Dralion stage! Wow!

6:45pm - 9:00pm
Paseo Santa Lucía / Macroplaza
A Little Riverwalk

Next, join us for a nice evening stroll around Parque Fundidora's famous Blast Furnice (Horno 3) area and, for 40 passionates (sorry, that's all the seats we could get!), a boat tour down the Paseo Santa Lucía to the Macroplaza! It's a fantastic cultural kick-off to our exciting weekend in Mexico. You won't be disappointed!

Although we won't get a chance to visit the inside of the Horno 3 museum this day (time will be made available later in the weekend for those curious about what's inside), adventurous types can ride 130ft (40m) to the top of the furnace for a fantastic 360° view of the city at night!

8:00am - 9:00am
CirqueCon Registration Area Open

Join us for open registration in our headquarters hotel before we embark on our twelve-hour tour of Monterry city and its environs. If you haven't received your event tickets - now's the time! There's plenty of room to spread out and chat, so come on by!

9:00am - 9:00pm
Magic Bus
Monterrey City Tour


Right after Registration, join us for a twelve-hour tour of fabulous Monterrey. We'll visit museums, shopping plazas, natural places and more! This is a unique and customized city tour in Monterrey created by Rodolfo exclusively for the members of CIRQUECON 2009 (he is also going to be our Tour Guide). So get ready to enjoy Monterrey in a very fun and unique way!

Activity Schedule

   9:00 AM -- Meet in HQ Hotel Lobby; Board Bus!
   10:30 AM -- Visit Garcia Caves
   2:00 PM -- Lunch at Paseo San Pedro Mall Food Court.
   3:45 AM -- Visit to Cañon de la Huasteca Mountain.
   4:30 PM -- Visit to MacroPlaza (Monterrey Downtown)
   6:30 PM -- Morelos Shopping Plaza
   8:00 PM -- Return to Holiday Inn Parque Fundidora

10:30pm - 3:00am
Nueva Luna
Bohemia Night


Phew, all that walking, riding and sight-seeing takes a lot out of you. Come join us at this famous watering hole for a little refreshment! Who said Margaritas!? :) Join us in the lobby of the Holiday Inn Parque Fundidora by 10:30pm to catch the "Magic Bus" to Nueva Luna! Those not in the lobby by 10:30pm may miss the bus!

Activity Schedule

   10:30 PM -- Meet in HQ Hotel Lobby; Board Bus!
   10:50 PM -- Arrival at NUEVA LUNA
   11:00 PM -- Dinner/Live Music. Party!
   1:00 AM -- First transfer from Nueva Luna to Hotel.
   2:00 AM -- second transfer from Nueva Luna to Hotel.
   3:00 AM -- First transfer from Nueva Luna to Hotel.

9:30am - 10:30am
CirqueCon Registration Area Open

If you've still not picked up your packet, badge or other goodies, come by and see us!

11:30am - 1:00pm
Grand Chapiteau
Activities at Paruqe Fundidora

Parque Fundidora is full of unique and interesting cultural experiences, including the famous Blast Furnice (Horno 3) museum. Take this opportunity to explore the grounds, visit the museum, and ride 130ft (40m) to the top of the furnace for a fantastic 360° view of the city!

1:30pm - 5:15pm
Hacienda San Angel
CirqueCon Group Meal


Then, come eat with us at Monterrey's famous HACIENDA SAN ANGEL restaurant for authentic Mexican cuisine, buffet style! After our meal it's out to the Obispado for yet another magnificent view of Monterrey. Rising about 775 meters above sea level, this viewpoint is adorned with a fabulous circular esplanade with a humongous flag and pole at its center. You'll definitely want to bring your camera for this!

Activity Schedule

   1:30 PM -- Meet in HQ Hotel Lobby; Board Bus!
   2:00 PM -- Group Meal at the Restaurant
   4:00 PM -- Transfer to Obispado Hill / Esplanade
   4:30 PM -- Group Picture!
   5:10 PM -- Arrival to Holiday Inn Parque Fundidora

8:00pm - 8:30pm
Grand Chapiteau
Group Photo at Dralion!

Once again meet outside the gates of the Grand Chapiteau for an amazing opportunity to take a group photograph back stage with artists from Dralion!

9:00pm - 11:30pm
Grand Chapiteau
Group Show - Dralion!

Doors open at 8:30pm

Then at 9:00pm it's off to Dralion, an extraordinary voyage through a futuristic dimension- a place without time, ruled by magical laws. A fusion of ancient Chinese circus tradition with the avant-garde approach of Cirque du Soleil thrust into a plane of existence that is neither past nor future.

12:00am +
Grand Chapiteau
Dralion Goodbye!

Meet us at the artist gates outside the Grand Chapiteau after the show to give the artists a CirqueCon send-off! WOOO!

10:00am - 12:00pm
Our Kaffeeklatsch

On Sunday morning, join us at the hotel restaurant for the Kaffeeklatsch - an impromptu get-together to give us your thoughts about the weekend. Come have a cup of coffee or tea and let us know how we did and what can be improved for our next adventures: CirqueCon 2010: New York City! & CirqueCon 2011: Hollywood! Or, just stop by to say "adios amigos!"


    On the behalf of everyone here behind the scenes at CirqueCon 2009: Monterrey, we wish to take this moment to express our heartfelt thanks and gratitude to these following individuals and organizations who have helped us greatly to put on our event this year - gracias!

    at Cirque du Soleil:
    • Michael G. Smith – Senior Artistic Director for Dralion & Alegría
    • Bruce Mather – Artistic Director, Dralion
    • Pascale Oument – Publicist, Attachée de Presse / Dralion in Mexico
    • Frédérique Gagnier – Publicist, Attachée de Presse / Dralion in Australia
    • Roxane Prince – Conseillère Marketing Internet & Superviseure Club Cirque
    • Ana Cuella – La Nouba Aerialist/Artist
    • Dustin Hill – Dralion Trampoline Artist
    • Elisabetta La Commare – Saltimbanco Boleadora Artist
    • Matthew Jessner – Artistic Director / Dragone Macau

    at Ticketmaster México:
    • Patricia Giron – Manager, Group Sales
    • César Rodrigo Ramirez – Group Sales

    at Monterrey Municipal Government:
    • Lic. Homero Santos García – General Tourism Coordinator
    • Lic. Humberto Dingler – Institutional Relations Sub-director
    • Lic. Ilena Salinas – Public & Protocol Relations

    at Holiday Inn Parque Fundidora:
    • Alba Cabrera – Administrative Sales Coordinator
    • Julio César Martínex – Sales Reservations
    • Cecilia Martinez – Group Sales Team
    • Eloisa Carrillo – Group Sales Team
    • Parla Segovia – Group Sales Team

    in Monterrey:
    • C.P. Luis Gonzalez – OSETUR, Administrative Manager
    • Carmen Salazar Flores – SENDA TURISMO, Group Sales and Reservations
    • Paloma Ibarra Rojas – NUEVA LUNA, Special Events Manager
    • Jorge Montemayor Jr. – HACIENDA SAN ANGEL, Owner
    • Susana Hermandez – PARQUE FUNDIDORA, Special Events

    For Helping Out:
    • Arq. Francisco Fernandez – Graphics Design
    • Lic. Adriana Váldes – T-Shirt Post Design
    • Posadas Herrera – Museo de Historia Mexicana & MUNE English Guide
    • Rich Alford – for early event support and enthusiasm.

    And, of course, the fans of Mexico without whom we wouldn't have had such a passionate showing. Gracias!