Up-and-coming Latin singers are among the attractions at the Citadel Outlets weekend-long Cinco de Mayo Fiesta on May 7 and May 8. In the past several years, both Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande performed at the Citadel before their careers launched on a national scale. Look for Julio Martinez, Tiffany Galaviz, Natalia Loya and Analise Hoveyda.
Cultural dances and music include Ballet Folklorico de Los Angeles, performances by piano virtuoso Sebastian Sidi, and a roving Mariachi Band. The outlet mall attracts an international shopping crowd on normal shopping days, and it will turn decidedly south-of-the-border in observance of the May 5 skirmish when the Mexican army defeated French forces at the Battle of Puebla.
Citadel Outlets is about a 15-minute drive from downtown Los Angeles on I-5 and about 30 minutes north of Anaheim. The complex straddles the City of Commerce, a city of 12,993 residents which is about 96% Hispanic according to the latest figures published on City-Data.com.
The mall’s unusual wall is 22-feet high and runs parallel to I-5 near the Atlantic Boulevard exit and is a replica of an ancient Assyrian temple which was the décor from the Samson Tire Company, the original developer of the property in 1929. The property changed owners and industries various times and was deteriorating before the Craig Realty Group took ownership and began redeveloping the complex in 2002.
As described in an ebook on Amazon, So Cal Entrepreneurs: Steve Craig, Outlet Mall Developer, the outlet mall concept with improved aesthetics changed dramatically under Steve Craig. The industry started in Reading, Pennsylvania in the early 1970s when Vanity Fair sold excess inventory at a bargain and nothing more than curtains separated the sales floor from the factory floor.
The Citadel Outlet mall employs about 2,000 people and many of them live in the local area. There are 145 stores with global brands that include Michael Kors, Hugo Boss, and the Disney Outlet.