Colorado Springs kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month with day-long downtown fest | Arts & Entertainment

Colorado Springs kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month with day-long downtown fest | Arts & Entertainment

Colorado Springs celebrates its first community Fiestas Patrias — a patriotic holiday marking Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1810 — with a daylong festival Saturday at Alamo Square Park in the heart of downtown.

Like July Fourth in the States, Fiestas Patrias is widely observed in Mexico, and a growing number of U.S. cities have embraced the festival as a kickoff to Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins Thursday and runs through Oct. 15.

“Colorado Springs has grown so much in the years since I’ve been here, and with that growth has come growth of the Hispanic population, as well,” said festival co-founder Moni Hernandez. She said she’s excited to help welcome what’s envisioned as an annual event that better reflects “who we are, today, as a city.”

Hernandez moved to the Springs in 2011 from a coastal California community with a rich tradition of Hispanic festivals. Since 2018, she’s been working to create a similar tradition in her new hometown, a city where the population has boomed and changed over the last decade but where fast-shifting demographics haven’t been so quick to make an impact on the way it celebrates together — or the why.

“We have more Spanish-speaking Hispanics in Colorado Springs than we do in Pueblo. There are many amazing festivals that happen throughout the year, but there weren’t any that really represented the Hispanic community,” Hernandez said.

She hopes the inaugural Fiestas Patrias will help change that story.

“We’re just really excited about this, and are excited to see how much the city and all the other organizations in the city are supporting it,” Hernandez said.

The day begins at 7 a.m. with a street breakfast of burritos — free to military with ID — and continues with live music and speakers, including Cynthia Ceballos, municipal president of the Springs’ sister city in Mexico, Nuevo Casas Grandes. There’s also a car show, demonstration of luchador-style wrestling and “kid’s zone,” run by the nonprofit Catamount Institute.

The festival, free to attend, is co-sponsored by The Thrive Network, a local nonprofit that supports entrepreneurship with a focus on the city’s southeast neighborhoods.

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

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