CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Dunking the mayor is a tradition that kicks off Buc Days that dates back to 1938, and Thursday was Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Guajardo’s first dunk.
“Walking the plank is a little nerve wracking because you’re jumping into ten to fourteen feet of water,” she said earlier in the day before she got dunked.
She said jumping was very nostalgic and reminded her of when she was younger when she would go swimming. She said she grew up watching the mayoral dunks every year, and the jump was salty, but not very cold. She also said she’s overcome with emotion to take on this tradition.
“It was amazing! I’m so humbled. It is such an honor to carry on this tradition one more year in representing the city of Corpus Christi. I’m so honored to be the mayor,” Guajardo said.
The mayoral dunking is a tradition that past mayors like Joe McComb have taken part in. He said he first got dunked as a stand-in for Mayor Luther Jones in the 80s when he was on the city council. He said he was also a stand-in for Mayor Mary Rhodes. Since then, he’s been dunked a total of at least four times and right after would go to the Las Doñas de la Corte presentation even though he had just gotten wet from the dunking.
“It was a pretty quick change from being dunked in the bay to being in a tuxedo just within an hour. But it was fun,” McComb said.
Other past mayors like Nelda Martinez also took part. She said there was a lot of unknowns during her first time getting dunked, but that it’s a high-energy tradition.
“This is an event that distinguishes Corpus Christi and it certainly does humble anyone who does it but at the expense of the mayor’s dignity, but it’s a great tradition for Corpus Christi,” Martinez said.