The city of Pico Rivera will ignite its streets with the fervor of Mexican Independence through the “El Grito de Independencia” festival on Sept. 15 at Smith Park beginning at 5 p.m. This free event kicks off Latinx Heritage Month by celebrating the spirit of Mexico’s struggle for independence while honoring the diversity of Latin American heritage. “El Grito de Independencia” will be filled with cultural immersion, Latin cuisine, live entertainment, and a commemoration of historical milestones.
“El Grito de Independencia,” or “The Cry of Independence,” is a phrase that holds a prominent place in Mexican history. It marks Mexico’s fight against Spanish colonial rule, with the iconic moment of El Grito occurring on September 16, 1810, in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato. This pivotal event was ignited by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a Catholic priest and revolutionary leader. By ringing the church bell and delivering an impassioned speech, he galvanized the Mexican War of Independence, urging citizens to rise against the tyranny of Spanish oppression.
Coinciding with El Grito and the independence anniversaries of several Latin American nations, Latinx Heritage Month begins on September 15. This month-long celebration pays homage to the rich and diverse Latin American cultures that have shaped the United States. The festivities encompass a wide array of traditions, histories, and artistic expressions, fostering a deeper understanding of Latinx contributions.
The festival promises a myriad of attractions for attendees of all ages, ensuring an engaging and culturally enriching experience. Some of the highlights include:
- Eterna Juventud: A Ballet Folklórico community group dedicated to showcasing Mexican culture through traditional dance. Their performances, adorned with intricate costumes and music, reflect Mexico’s deep-rooted cultural identity.
- Cielito Lindo: A mariachi group founded by Osvaldo Mendoza, infusing the air with the soulful melodies of Mexico. Mariachi music, with its strings, wind instruments, and harmonious vocals, echoes the nation’s history and emotions.
- Spaghetti Cumbia: Originating from East L.A. and Boyle Heights, this group harmonizes the sounds of Cumbia, Rock, and Western music. Their fusion of musical styles represents a contemporary twist on a classic genre.
- Banda Group La Electrizante: A burgeoning Banda music ensemble from Southern California, captivating audiences with their lively and spirited brass and percussion instrumentals.
Local eateries and artisan vendors will be serving up a spread of Latin cuisine, allowing attendees to savor authentic flavors from various regions. Some of the featured vendors include:
- Birreria Los Cachorritos: Renowned for their birria ramen, a fusion of ramen and succulent birria, this eatery offers an array of mouthwatering options such as asada plates, sopes, enchiladas, and more.
- Los Reyes del Taco Sabroso: A family-run restaurant dishing out authentic dishes from Mexico City alongside modern Mexican-inspired cuisine, including an assortment of tacos, tortas, and gorditas.
- Evil Cooks: A metal taco food haven famous for their innovative take on octopus and pork al pastor meats, paired with a tantalizing blend of spices and flavors.
- MicheFresca King: Elevating aguas frescas with an explosion of toppings and flavors, this vendor offers unique creations like coffee horchata and chamoy dragon fruit lemonade.
Guests also have the opportunity to enhance their festival experience with exclusive options:
- Tequila Tasting Experience: Dive into the nuances of tequila with a tasting session for $40.
- VIP Tickets: Elevate your visit with VIP access for $60, featuring a dedicated area, tequila tastings, complimentary beer, tacos, a VIP bar, and restroom facilities.
For additional details and to secure your tequila tastings, VIP tickets, and booths, visit https://kahlo.ticketspice.com/elgritola