Angelenos gather to rename street after Vicente Fernández, celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Angelenos gather to rename street after Vicente Fernández, celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Hundreds of Angelenos gathered in Boyle Heights Friday evening to celebrate both Hispanic Heritage Month, as well as the renaming of a street after the Latin music icon Vicente Fernández.

The ceremony began at around 5 p.m. in Mariachi Plaza, where the street formerly known was Bailey Street, between 1st Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, was renamed to Vicente “Chente” Fernández Street to pay honor after the musician died in Dec. 2021 at the age of 81.

“Fernández was a cultural legend known as El Rey, the King of Ranchera,” said a press release from Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de León announcing the ceremony. “His music is loved throughout the world, particularly among immigrant communities in the United States. The street to be named in his honor is appropriately adjacent to Los Angeles’ historic Mariachi Plaza in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles.”

Following Fernández’s death, Angelenos gathered to pay their respects in a number of ways, gathering at his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, singing some of his most iconic songs and in a number of instances, renaming streets.

In August, a street in the Pico Rivera neighborhood was renamed Avenida Vicente Fernández.

“This is pretty much what we grew up with in our house whenever it was Saturday cleaning, my mom would put on his music,” said Eduardo Jimenez, one of the many on hand Friday night. “It just means something big for us. This is part of our background, our heritage.”

He brought his grandchildren so they would know the roots of that heritage.

“I hope they feel proud of where they come from, their language, their color,” he said.

That sentiment was echoed by pretty much every person in attendance, where live music and entertainment could be heard throughout the neighborhood.

“He’s pretty much a god to the Mexican community, so, we’re very excited to be out here celebrating this really big moment,” said another woman celebrating the moment. “It’s very important for equity, community, inclusion. That’s why we’re out here representing.”

Amongst those in attendance at the ceremony was Fernández’s wife and their grandson, Vicente Fernández IV.

“It’s a great honor just being here with my grandma,” he said. “I got a little bit emotional, but all the people received us, remembering all the times I came with my grandfather to all the concerts here. … It’s a great honor.”

Councilman de León spoke at the ceremony, noting that Fernández’s legacy has continued even past his death, and not only nationally but worldwide.

“People sometimes ask, ‘Who was this man? Who is Vicente Fernández?,’ and the way I would say it is, think Frank Sinatra. We think Frank Sinatra, and what he meant for so many Americans, is what Vicente Fernández meant for so many Mexicans, so many Central Americans, so many Latinos,” he said.

Upon his retirement in 2016, Fernández had accumulated a number of honors including nine Latin Grammys and 14 Lo Nuestro Awards.

This News is Published from Google Alert – Hispanic Heritage Month.

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