Minerpalooza – one of the signature events for The University of Texas at El Paso and the El Paso community – will return to the UTEP campus Friday, Aug. 27, 2021.
After going completely virtual in 2020, the 31st Minerpalooza, the University’s annual celebration to kick off the academic year, will take place from 6 to 11 p.m.
“Minerpalooza is UTEP’s back-to-school blowout, and this year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever,” said Nicole Aguilar, director of UTEP’s Student Engagement and Leadership Center. “We’re looking forward to an evening of fun, music, food, and, most of all, plenty of Miner Pride as we celebrate our return to campus. Together, we are stronger than ever!”
Minerpalooza – which has brought the UTEP and El Paso community together for 30 years – will feature live entertainment, interactive activities, food vendors, and Pete’s Playground, a dedicated children’s play area. A beer and wine garden will also be accessible to individuals age 21 and older. Admission is free and open to the public. Food and beverages will be available for purchase by cash or credit card. There will also be charge for some of the activities. Tickets for those can be purchased on site.
Many of UTEP’s Registered Student Organizations, will host activity booths to raise funds for their annual initiatives. Minerpalooza is traditionally one of the biggest fundraising and marketing opportunities for these student organizations.
Keeping with tradition, UTEP’s athletic teams and coaches will be part of the Minerpalooza experience to get the community pumped up about the return of Miner football. The celebration will also include performances by the UTEP Marching Miners, Paydirt Pete and the University spirit teams, and an appearance by UTEP President Heather Wilson.
The UTEP football team kicks off the season at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, against New Mexico State University at Aggie Memorial Stadium.
Coolio, Petey Pablo and the Ying Yang Twins and will provide the musical entertainment at Minerpalooza.
Petey Pablo’s first single “Raise Up” was released in summer 2001 and received heavy rotation on MTV and airplay on urban radio. The song – which was produced by Timbaland – reached No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100. Petey Pablo’s debut album, “Diary of a Sinner: 1st Entry,” received a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Album.
The Ying Yang Twins debuted in 2000 and rose to mainstream popularity in 2003 collaborating with Britney Spears and her album “In the Zone” and with Lil Jon on “Get Low.” In 2004 and 2005, Ying Yang Twins became more popular with party singles “Salt Shaker,” “Wait (The Whisper Song),” “Shake” and “Badd.”
Coolio achieved mainstream success in the mid-to-late 1990s with his albums “It Takes a Thief,” “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “My Soul.” He is best known for his 1995 Grammy Award-winning hit single “Gangsta’s Paradise” from the 1995 film “Dangerous Minds,” as well as other singles “Fantastic Voyage,” “1, 2, 3, 4, (Sumpin’ New)” and “C U When U Get There.”
“This year’s headliners represent the best of hip-hop and rap throughout decades of iconic musical hits,” said Jorge Vazquez, executive director of UTEP’s Office of Special Events. “The Minerpalooza 2021 lineup will be a fun trip down memory lane with the music that a lot of us grew up listening to.”
For more information on food and beverage options, parking, activities, and lineup set times, visit minerpalooza.com or contact the Student Engagement and Leadership Center at 915-747-5670.
The “Mining Minds” pickaxe sculpture at UTEP’s University Avenue roundabout will be illuminated in blue and orange Friday evening, Aug. 27, to celebrate Minerpalooza. “Mining Minds” is an iconic piece of public art installed in 2010 to enhance the UTEP campus. On special occasions, including historic dates, major annual milestones and to celebrate special accomplishments, the pick is illuminated in blue and orange. Learn more about the statue and its artist at miningminds.utep.edu.