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Sept. 16 is a day that never goes uncelebrated in the Valley.
Many Mexicans, descendants of Mexicans and those who appreciate Mexico’s culture in Arizona gather on this day to celebrate the infamous “Grito,” or “call to arms,” that gave way to Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1810.
The celebrations that take place in Mexico and in many U.S. cities are meant to resemble what took place in the early morning of Sept. 16, 1810, when Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang the bells of his parish and called from the atrium of the church to the population of Dolores, Hidalgo, to rise up against the viceregal authorities of New Spain.
According to Magdaleno Manzanarez, professor of political science at Western New Mexico University, celebrating the historical date is “more than the beginning of a war that came to create a country — it is part of the Mexican culture because it becomes a custom and that leads to what is valuable in a cultural context. So it is very important for us here in the U.S. to try to preserve those customs, traditions, those historical dates.”
In Arizona, more than 1.7 million people are of Mexican origin, mainly from the states of Sonora, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Jalisco and Guerrero, according to data from the Phoenix office of the Consulate General of Mexico.
“The Mexican nation, — that is, the Mexican people — are united by culture because they live on both sides of the border. The Mexican nation is mostly in Mexico and the U.S.,” Manzanarez said, referencing the land that once belonged to Mexico before the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, which relinquished what is mostly present-day Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming to the U.S.
Similar sentiments were shared by the Mexican consul in Phoenix, Jorge Mendoza Yescas, saying that the celebration in Arizona “is a moment of union, joy and memory of the rich diversity in the border region. To celebrate Mexico is to celebrate its people, the community that strives to build a better future and to deepen the ties of friendship and shared well-being between Mexico and Arizona,” he said in a news release.
Several events will be taking place across the Valley and throughout the state in celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day. Here’s a list:
Mexico’s Independence Day:How Mexican Arizonans keep their customs alive
Councilmembers Betty Guardado and Carlos García will celebrate El Grito on Thursday in downtown Phoenix in a free event that will have live music, art, ballet folklórico, food vendors and more.
Live musical performances will include Sonora Tropicana, Tapy Quintero, Nuevo Regimen, Grupo La Guardia, Proeza Norte, Los Huatson Oficial, Jalapeño Rock, Banda La Experta, Impresionantes de Sinaloa and more local groups.
Details: Sept. 15 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at First Avenue and Adams Street in downtown Phoenix. Free and for all ages. For more information visit https://www.facebook.com/events/662645008525819.
In celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day, Chicanos Por La Causa, a national and Arizona-based Latino advocacy organization, will host a community party, the Pachanga Comunitaria, on Friday.
The event will feature community resources and a health fair where they will offer free HIV, STI, hepatitis C and COVID-19 tests. In addition, there will be Mexican food, arts and crafts for children, DJ, Lowriders and the presentation of the ballet folklórico dance troupe ¡Esto es Mi México!
Details: Sept. 16 from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Central Park (140 E. Tonto St. Phoenix). Free and for all ages. For more information call 602-622-8352.
Rancho Mi Hacienda will celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day with a star-studded musical festival on Sunday.
The event will feature live performances from recognized regional Mexican bands Los Sebastianes, La Séptima Banda, Los Cuates de Sinaloa, Banda Arrimaz, Los Kortez de Sinaloa, Conjunto Poder starting at 2 in the afternoon.
Details: Sept. 18 from noon to 8 p.m., at Rancho Mi Hacienda (7644 S. 27th Ave., Phoenix). Tickets start at $50 and can be purchased at https://lenusa.com/tickets/en/evento?idEvento=116.
Casino Arizona will have several events commemorating Mexico’s independence starting Thursday and into the weekend, with live music, Mexican dishes, ballet folklórico and more.
Everything will start with El Grito on Thursday at 9 p.m. at the CAZ Sports Bar. That same day the ballet folklórico from Ollin Yoliztli Dance Academy will perform from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Celebration of Mexico through dance:Learning to dance ballet folklórico offers a celebration of home
Mariachi Azteca de Oro and Gustavo Angeles Tri will perform live on Friday at The Showroom in the casino from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. In the same venue, the Selena Super Show, celebrating the legacy of TexMex artist Selena Quintanilla, will take place on Saturday starting at 7:30 p.m.
Also on Saturday, the casino will broadcast live from the CAZ Sports Bar, the boxing match between Saúl ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and GGG at 6 p.m.
Details: Sept. 15 through 17 at Casino Arizona (524 N. 92nd St., Scottsdale). For more information visit https://www.casinoarizona.com/casino/.
The Consulate General of Mexico in Tucson will host a symbolic “grito,” similar to the one given by Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in 1810 on Thursday.
Details: Sept. 15 at 4 p.m. at St. Phillip Plaza (4280 N Campbell Ave., Tucson).
The consulate office, in association with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, will present the Mexican Independence Day Concert, conducted by José Luis Gómez.
The 2022 edition of this endearing tradition for Mexicans, descendants of Mexicans and friends of Mexico in Tucson will feature the presence of Mariachi Aztlán and the Folkloric Dance Company.
Details: Sept. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fox Tucson Theater (17 W Congress St., Tucson). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and admission is free. For more information and to get your tickets visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mexican-independence-day-concert-tickets-399078854597.
Similar to the Thursday event, the Mexican Consulate and the Pima County Public Library will host an El Grito Ceremony.
Details: Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. at Valencia Library (202 W. Valencia Rd, Tucson). For more information visit https://www.library.pima.gov/upcoming/ or call 520-594-5390.
The Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Museum will celebrate Mexican Independence Day on Saturday with several events, including the traditional Grito, ballet folklórico, mariachi and more.
It will begin at 4 p.m. with a lecture titled “Tucson Under the Mexican Republic”. At 5:15 p.m., Carlos Otero López, Attaché of the Consulate of Mexico, will give El Grito, followed by a live performance of Mariachi Pumas de Roskruge and ballet folkórico Danzacultura Mexicana.
Details: Sept. 17 from 4 p.m. at the Tucson Museum (196 N. Court Ave.) Cost of entrance is $10 for adults and $5 for ages 6-13. Pima County residents, seniors 65 and older and members of the military receive a $3 discount with proof of residency. Tickets will be sold on the spot. For more information visit https://www.visittucson.org/event/mexican-independence-day-celebration/11095/.
Cinema Tucson will screen “Huesera”, a film by Michelle Garza Cervera, who will be present and taking part in a Q&A following the screening.
Winner of the Best New Director Award and the Nora Ephron Award at the Tribeca Film Festival, “Huesera”, the supernatural horror film tells the story of Valeria (Natalia Solián in her film debut), whose joy at getting pregnant with her first child is quickly taken from her when she is cursed by a sinister entity.
With a majority female cast and crew, Garza Cervera’s remarkable feature debut uses Mexican folklore to tell a terrifying and unexpected tale of motherhood.
Details: Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Fox Tucson Theater (17 W. Congress St., Tucson). Tickets can be purchased at the box office or in advance at https://cinematucson.com/.
Corazón De Latinos Unidos and the City of Eloy will celebrate Mexico’s Independence on Friday.
Fiesta’s Patrias – Corazón De Latino Unidos is a grassroots organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Latino and Hispanic culture through education and celebration. It has been successful in organizing the Fiestas Patrias Celebration for the last 14 years.
Details: Sept. 16 from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., at Central Main Street Park (N. Main St., Tucson). Admission is free. For more information visit http://fiestaspatriascdlu.com/ or call (520) 431-3090.
The Consulate General of Mexico in Yuma will celebrate the 2022 National Holidays with music, dance and the traditional Grito of Independence on Thursday.
Details: Sept. 15 starting at 6 p.m. at the Yuma Civic Center (1440 W Desert Hills Dr., Yuma).
The Consulate General of Mexico in Nogales and the Cultural Arts Committee will celebrate the occasion on Saturday with live music, ballet folklórico, food and of course the traditional Grito.
Details: Sept. 17 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Morley Avenue. It’s free and for the whole family. For more information visit https://nogalesaz.gov/ or call 520-287-6571.
Reach La Voz reporter Nadia Cantú at nadia.cantu@lavozarizona.com or on Twitter @nadia_cantu.
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