Weekend’s Fiestas Patrias Celebrates Latino Heritage

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Story and Photography by LAURA B. MONTEROS

7:25 am | September 16, 2013


With the United States flag leading the way, the colors of 19 countries in the Americas were carried in the Parade of Nations at Fiestas Patrias at Villa-Parke on Saturday.  The event is an annual celebration of Latino heritage hosted by Villa-Parke Community Center and sponsored by the City of Pasadena Human Services and Recreation Department.

After the flags were planted, visitors recited the Pledge of Allegiance and listened to “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and the festivities began.  First up was the introduction of the Fiestas Patrias court, Jessica Perez, age 10, of Altadena Elementary School and Andrea Barcena, age 8, of St. Andrew School.  Queen Amy Guadalupe Vega, age 8, of Madison Elementary School was crowned by Officer Perez of Pasadena Police Department.

The festival offered free entertainment, boxing and jujitsu demonstrations.  Dancers, musicians, and charros performed on two stages while kids enjoyed the bouncers and free popcorn.  About two dozen booths provided information on various services and programs in the community, as well as food and beverages.

The Armory Center for the Arts brought arts and crafts for youngsters.  There were three potter’s wheels to throw pots, as well as an art wall where drawings could be posted.  Ceramics were fired to be picked up later.

The Armory Center collaborates with Villa-Parke on a number of programs, including a ceramics studio with 6 wheels and a kiln for school-age children and seniors.  Villa-Parke is a “gem” that many people in Pasadena aren’t aware of, the instructor told us.  In addition to art, the park has an auditorium, pool, gymnasium, and boxing and weight rooms.

Rozanne Adanto, Community Services Supervisor at Villa-Parke and one of the organizers of Fiestas Patrias, said, “Everybody and anybody who wants to come here and help us, we welcome them.”