On Friday Pasadena celebrates Fiestas Patrias marking the independence of 18 Latin American countries – in grand fashion, with traditional dances, children’s activities, arts and crafts for all ages, and even a reenactment of the historic battle cry that marked the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence.
These 18 – Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela – each celebrate their independence from colonial rule on different days, but Friday’s event pays tribute at once to each.
In the United States, Fiestas Patrias has traditionally been held in September as part of Latino Heritage Month.
The City’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department (PRCS) is hosting this celebration — in partnership with the Latino Heritage Parade and Festival Committee, between 5 and 9 p.m. on Friday at Villa Parke Community Center, 363 E Villa Street in Pasadena.
Fiestas Patrias is a family-friendly event that reflects the colors, richness and warmth of Latin American culture.
The grand fiesta will also feature the crowning of the Fiesta Queen and Court by City officials, a parade of the flags of those 18 Latin American countries, live music by Nueva Dimension Norteña, ballet folklórico performed by local community groups, and the Mariachi reenactment “El Grito,” from “Grito de Dolores,” or the Cry of Dolores, which occurred in Dolores, Mexico, on Sept. 16, 1810.
On that day, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Roman Catholic priest, rang his church bell and gave the call to arms that triggered the Mexican War of Independence. Locals now commonly refer to the event as “El Grito de Independencia.”
The Armory Center for the Arts hosts children’s activities including a tiny tot area, bounce houses, and arts and crafts. Food will be available for purchase at Villa Parke during the celebration.
Fiestas Patrias is part of Pasadena’s 24th annual Latino Heritage Month Celebrations, which feature free family-friendly outdoor events.
For more information, call (626) 744-6530 or visit http://www.cityofpasadena.net/parks-and-rec.