By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The Fiestas Patrias Celebration “A Taste of Mexico,” opened in 2012 at the Plaza Mayor in Oklahoma City. Since then, it has become one of the largest Hispanic events in the metro area attracting over 20,000 visitors to the commercial and cultural center each year.
On Sunday, September 13, the outdoor festival will take place from 12 to 9 p.m., in the southwest parking lot of Plaza Mayor, formerly known as Crossroads Mall. The Plaza is located northeast of I-240 and I-35.
The South Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce and the Mexican Consulate, based out of Little Rock, AR, are joining together in order to create an event with strong economic and cultural impact.
In 1810, on September 16, Father Miguel Hidalgo, a Mexican Catholic priest called for and led a revolution against Spanish rule.
“This event in Mexican history has now reached near mythic proportions,” said Robert Ruiz, Marketing Manager of Plaza Mayor.
In 1925, the Republic of Mexico officially declared Diez y Seis de Septiembre to be the country’s national Independence Day.
Fiestas Patrias 2015 will mark the third year this ceremony will be officiated by delegates of the Mexican Consulate in Oklahoma City.
Entertainment will feature several well-known international artists headlined by Los Baron de Apodaca, a group from northern Mexico that are known as the “Kings of Chicano Music.”
Actor Sebastian Ferrat, from Spanish TV’s most watched prime-time novella, “El Señor de los Cielos,” will be on hand to meet and greet those in attendance.
The festival will also include an expo with tents from various organizations and businesses that serve the Hispanic community. Indoor activities will take place featuring top local acts such as Latin rock group Tequila Azul.
The celebration will kick off at 12 p.m. showcasing the charreria tradition, which is the official national sport of Mexico.
Live musical acts will begin at 1 p.m. with groups including Los Terrikolas, Conjunto Sin Ley, Los Sentimentales de Nuevo León, Los Marineros del Norte, and Tropicalísimo Apache. Always popular with the kids, Lucha Libre exhibition matches will take place throughout the day. The exhibition is a type of professional wrestling originating in Mexico, in which the contestants wear masks and use rapid, acrobatic techniques.
Festivities will also include inflatables, water rides, and trampolines. There will be a wide selection of food and drink vendors.
According to the 2010 US Census, 80 percent of Hispanics in Oklahoma identify with Mexican Ancestry.
“This event has grown beyond our wildest expectations,” said Ruiz. “The response from both the Hispanic community and the business community in support of these events has been overwhelming.”
Some of the organizations helping to make this free festival possible are: La Indomable, La Zeta, Telemundo, Univision, El Nacional, Mundo Fox, Azteca América, La Tremenda, La Voz, Hola Oklahoma, Miller/Coors, Supermercado Buy for Less, Cox Communications, Metro PCS, Kickapoo Casino, Chicas Tax Service, Antojitos Mi Mexico, OG&E, Conventions and More, Oklahoma City Greater Chamber of Commerce, M-Power/LCDA, Medio Tiempo, and Supermercado Morelos.
Fiestas Patrias will be one of only two outdoor festivals held during the next year along with the Cinco de Mayo celebration next May. The rest of Plaza Mayor’s 18 legacy events will be held indoors along with its weekly cultural programming held every Sunday.
For more information, call 405-631-4422 or visit www.plazamayorok.com.