Hispanic Heritage Month includes Fiesta!

Fiesta Girl
Mexican Heritage Society's Fiesta! features folklorico dancing. Photo by Morgan Jones

Fiesta! Features Folklorico Dancing

The Mexican Heritage Society’s Fiesta! on Sept. 14 is a Hispanic Heritage Month highlight in Port Arthur. For five decades, this event has highlighted the culture, food and music in an annual celebration. Keep reading for more details below.

Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15-Oct.15 of 2019. While in Port Arthur, observe this time by attending Fiesta! and:

  • Visit Our Lady of Guadalupe and Shrine. Parishioners of this Catholic Church traveled to Mexico to obtain rocks where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to Juan Diego. Larger than life statues of both, and a chapel, are attract visitors to Port Arthur.
  • Museum of the Gulf Coast’s notable people collection honors Staff Sergeant Lucian Adams, who earned a Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions during World War II. In France, he knocked out the three machine gun emplacements destroying supply lines. Port Arthur has a park and school named in his honor and his is also honored at Veterans Memorial Park.

Hispanic Business Council

“Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month is important to me because I have lived in the U.S. all my life and so have my kids,” Rachel Ochoa said.

“Sometimes by not living in the country of your heritage you can forget about the history and culture of that place. For me having a month where I can show others around me things that are based on my Hispanic heritage is incredible. It’s a way to reconnect with your past,” she said.
Ochoa works at the Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce as the Communication & Events Coordinator.

“Being in this position helped me form and manage the Hispanic Business Council. This year we have decided that it would be great if we could do a Hispanic forum during the beginning of the Hispanic heritage month to help our community with questions about college and scholarships, immigration, starting a business and many other questions that can be answered in Spanish,” she said. “This is also an opportunity for our Hispanic businesses to showcase their services. We are very excited to bring this to our Hispanic community and best of all to have it on a month that is very important to us.”

51st  Annual Fiesta!

Mexican Heritage Fiesta will be from 9:30 a.m. to midnight, Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center.

Look for the Mexican Heritage Society Folklorico Dancers performing authentic traditional dances from the states and regions of Mexico, in vibrantly colorful costumes. A Parade of Costumes will showcase different states and regions of Mexico. Entertainment will include a dance band, food vendors and youth activities.

The fiesta commemorates Mexico’s Independence from Spain and has kept the Mexican culture alive in Southeast Texas by sharing the beauty and history of Mexican heritage.

Mayor Thurman “Bill” Bartie will kick off the event with a 10 a.m. welcome. A presentation of the Colors will follow. Events will include the Children’s Costume Contest, showcasing young children modeling traditional Mexican costumes; pageants and crowning of five queens, a Petite Miss and Young Miss and a Mr. Jovencito King. The Society’s own Folklorico Dancers will perform in vibrant and colorful Mexican costumes, demonstrating traditional dances from various states and regions of Mexico.

Evening entertainment will feature a Promenade of all Fiesta Royalty, DJ music, and the musical sounds of the  “Reyes Locos & San Marcos.”  Dance the night away and try to win a prizes.

Admission fees for the entire event will be: $5 for ages 11 to 17; $5 for seniors $10 for Adults; and free for children 10 and younger when accompanied by an adult.

For information, call (409) 962-0088.

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