Cesar Chavez honored at San Luis celebration
SAN LUIS, Ariz. — The life of farm labor leader Cesar Chavez will be celebrated Saturday with day-long festivities in San Luis.
Various businesses and organizations are joining in the annual celebration that includes a horseback parade, noon Mass and live entertainment in the afternoon and the evening.
Chavez, co-founder and leader of the United Farm Workers union, was born March 31, 1927, in the Gila Valley and died during a visit to San Luis in April 1993.
“Chavez's cause was not limited to the right of agricultural worker; it was on behalf of the rights of workers in general, for civil and human rights,” said Tony Reyes, executive director of Comite de Bien Estar, a San Luis-based housing organization that is one of the organizers of the celebration.
“Cesar Chavez was a leader who sacrificed so much for the benefits that we now enjoy,” added Reyes, who is also a Yuma County supervisor.
The celebration kicks off with the parade of horseback riders at 7 a.m. Saturday. Starting from a desert area outside the city, the riders will be received at Plaza Riedel shopping center on Juan Sanchez Boulevard at 10 a.m.
From there they will continue along Juan Sanchez to Joe Orduno Park, accompanied by the Gadsden Elementary School District's marching band, which will be playing music en route.
The noon Mass will take place at the city's Cesar Chavez Cultural Center at Main Street and Juan Sanchez Boulevard.
The celebration will resume at 4:30 p.m. in Joe Orduno Park with folkloric dance performances and live music performed by a variety of musicians from the area and region, including Alicia Marron, Raul Lomela, the Flor del Mariachi mariachi group from the Gadsden district, Grupo Salmar, Luis Billhey, DJ Chris Gomez, El Daza and Martin Castillo.
The finale will be a performance by the group Autenticos Cadetes de Linares de Vicente Tijerina from 11 p.m. to midnight.
Admission for the entertainment is $5 for adults and free for youngsters under 12.