Yuma celebrations to mark Mexican independence
Several celebrations in Yuma County will honor the Mexican independence. The Mexican Consulate has organized a series of activities, beginning with a Sept. 13 ceremony marking the first anniversary of the installation of a monument honoring independence leader José María Morelos y Pavón.
The ceremony will also commemorate the “Sentimientos de la Nación,” or “Sentiments of the Nation,” an 1813 document presented by Morelos outlining his vision of the future of Mexico.
The ceremony will include an honor guard and a wreath will be laid at the memorial site at the Heritage Library Park, located at 3rd Street and 4th Avenue.
On Sept. 15, from 5-6 p.m., the consulate will commemorate the “Grito de Dolores” (Cry of Dolores) with a ceremony and reception at the Yuma Art Center, 254 S. Main St. Also known as the “Cry of Independence,” the cry was uttered by a priest in the town of Dolores on Sept. 16, 1810, and is considered the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence.
Mexican food will be provided and sponsored by Campesinos Sin Fronteras.
Also on Sept. 15, an arts festival will be held from 6-9 p.m. in the Historic Yuma Theatre, located next to the Art Center. The festival will feature performances by Ballet Folklórico Ehécatl of Baja California and Grupo Folklórico Faisán, with the support and sponsorship of the city of San Luis Rio Colorado, Son.
Other participants will include the Gadsden School District Mariachi, Mexican singer Kamyla Ruiz, teachers from the Mexican state of Oaxaca who participate in Teacher Exchange Program and a pre-Hispanic dance group under the leadership of community activist Mily Verdugo.
The “Grito de Independencia” ceremony will be held at 8:30 p.m., led by Consul Miguel Escobar Valdez and other officials.
All events are free and open to the public.
In Somerton, the Mexican holiday will be celebrated on Sept. 17-18 with a parade and festival. The parade will begin Saturday at 9 a.m. on Main Street.
The festival will be held that night from 7-11 p.m., with the “Grito” ceremony at 8 p.m. The celebration will include performances by charros, horses and kids dancing with ropes.
In addition, the festival will feature more than 20 vendors, food, games, music and entertainment.
On Sept. 18, Carmen Jara, a Mexican singer from Ciudad Obregon, Son., will perform at the Fiestas Patrias Festival presented by the Yuma Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at Desert Sun Stadium, located on Avenue A south of 32nd Street.
The Mexican Consulate will provide the opening ceremony with the Mexican “Grito.” More than 150 “low riders” will also be on display and competing for trophies and a cash prize of $1,500.
Also performing noon to 9 p.m. on both days will be the groups Los Alegres de Teran from Mexico, Los Alezanes, Grupo Joe Arduno of Yuma and Ritmo Express. A tribute to the late Mexican singer Selena will also be held, as well as a Selena look-a-like competition.
Organizers promise plenty of Mexican food, music and fun on both days. Admission is $3 per day or $5 for both days. Children 10 and under are free.
For more information, contact David Lerma or David Cortinas in the Chamber office at 783-5535 or at 1335 Pacific Ave., Suite 205.