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Fiestas Patrias returns to downtown Colorado Springs for 2-day celebration

Fiestas Patrias in downtown Colorado Springs kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month
Posted at 10:22 PM, Sep 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-16 01:31:11-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Friday was the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, and this weekend, Colorado Springs will also be celebrating local hispanic culture and Mexico's Independence Day.

Fiestas Patrias is returning for its second year. Last year, it was a one-day event bringing in more than 25,000 people. This year, it's even bigger and is now a two-day celebration.

Artists are coming in from across Colorado, California and Mexico, and vendors will be selling different Latin American foods. Plus, there will also be dancing horses, luchadores or Mexican wrestling, a kids zone, and an art zone.

Moni Hernandez is one of the founders of Fiestas Patrias. She said there are more than 130,000 hispanics in Colorado Springs, and an event like this is needed in the community.

“I’m a proud Mexican American,” said Hernandez. “And this is a way that all Latin American countries can come together and just celebrate, taste each other's food and just have a good time.”

Fiestas Patrias is a festival celebrated nation-wide and in Mexico. It’s a patriotic holiday festival marking the anniversary of Mexican independence from Spain.

“A lot of people just want to celebrate something that's been known since the 1800s when they first did the initial Grito. So it's part of our culture,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez said the festival also used to be celebrated in Denver, and now many of the people who used to celebrate in the mile high city, travel to Colorado Springs to celebrate.

“After COVID, I don't know why it just didn't happen anymore in Denver, so we just decided to pick up that torch and do it here in Colorado Springs,” said Hernandez.

The festival is about celebrating hispanic traditions and sharing them with others. For Emily Tamayo, it's also about learning other cultures.

“I’m not part of the hispanic heritage, but as an Asian American, I want to support the diversity and culture that exists here,” said Tamayo.

Tamayo is the director of Generation Wild for the Pikes Peak Region. The organization is a grant-funded organization dedicated to increasing access to the outdoors for families in Colorado Springs. This is the second year Tamayo will be working at the kids zone at Fiestas Patrias, and she said she’s looking forward to celebrating other cultures outside of her own.

“The more that we get to know our neighbors, the more that we get to know our friends, the more that we can learn each other's languages,” said Tamayo.

Fiestas Patrias begins Saturday, September 15 at noon and runs until 10 p.m. On Sunday, from 11 p.m. to 8 p.m.

It’s happening outside of the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum in downtown Springs on the corner of Tejon and Vermijo.


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