This home movie, filmed by Edward Schwartz, captures several events from the 38th Annual Southwestern Sun Carnival in El Paso. First, the Schwartzes attend the Sun Bowl game between North Carolina University and Texas Tech University. The Tarheels edged out a victory in the fourth quarter, winning 32-28. Next, the family watches the Sun Bowl pageant and the crowning of the Sun Queen and her court. Last, the Schwartzes ring in 1973 at the Sun Carnival Parade. Including in the parade is a float sponsored by Popular Dry Goods, the family business.
Adolph Schwartz immigrated from Hungary to the United States in 1887. After working in the railroads, Schwartz started several dry goods concerns in El Paso and Juarez, Mexico. He anticipated the growth of El Paso and its importance to the region, and concentrated his efforts on his store there. The resulting store, Popular Dry Goods, opened in 1902 and remained in operation for 93 years. It shaped the economy and culture of El Paso and the border region. Known for its "New York style," The Popular became the region's purveyor of high-end items. The store offered fashions, accessories, fine jewelry, shoes, linens, household products, furniture, and services like photography and travel planning. The Popular was able to maintain its cultural and economic role in border communities, even as larger national chains moved into the area. At its height, The Popular had four stores in El Paso, as well as a distribution center. The department store closed in 1995, in part because of its reliance on the Mexican market, which was very unpredictable in the late eighties and early nineties. Throughout its history, The Popular was a family-run business. At the time of its closure, Edward Schwartz, a grandson of Adolph, was the chairman and CEO.