The 50th Annual Tucson Meet Yourself festival is this weekend and while some may call it Tucson Eat Yourself, its not just the food that garners attention.

The culture of this event has affected one Tucsonan for over four decades.

U of A professor Dr. Celestino Fernandez has been participating in Tucson Meet Yourself for 41 years.

He began his work with corridos, which are narratives tales and poetry that form a ballad. He started by collecting the ballads of Mexican immigration.

I have over 100 of them,” Fernandez said.

He says he fell in love with the tradition, taking his research to the classrooms at the university and beyond.

I was invited to UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autnoma de Mxico), which is Mexicos largest research university, to do a presentation on corridosincluding some of my own,” Fernandez said.

In 1982, Fernandez was able to share his love for corridos outside of the classroom and to the crowds at Tucson Meet Yourself.

Jim Griffith, the founder, and his wife invited me to organize a corridos contest,” Fernandez said.

Now with the festival in its 50th year, instead of the contest, four of his own corridos will be highlightedincluding his piece on the Uvalde mass shooting.

“What I try to do in a poetic form, in a song, in a corrido is document the main details of the occurrence,” Fernandez said.

Over his lifetime, he has composed more than 50 corridos. From national stories to stories about his father, Fernandez has immersed himself in the corrido tradition.

It brings people together in a very positive way,” Fernandez said.

Fernandez will be handing his books out along with CDs at the event this Saturday at 4pm.

He will also be doing a live interview as well as having people come in and perform his works.

Tucson Meet Yourself spans three days in Jacome Plaza, 101 N. Stone Ave., downtown Tucson. It begins in the late morning Friday, Oct. 13 and runs through Sunday evening, Oct. 15.