Latin Proud: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month

by Cris Arellano-Port
Community Music & Events Cris Arellano-Port September 13, 2023

As a Latina passionate about Mexican History, I hear the question arise, “Why does Hispanic Heritage Month start on September 15th?”

On September 15, 1810, in the early morning in Dolores, Guanajuato Mex., a priest named Father Miguel Hidalgo rang the bells of his church and called for the people of Mexico to rise against the authoritative colonizers of New Spain.

We call this day El Grito — which means “to cry” when translated into English.

This phrase is a rallying call to the Mexican Natives to take up arms, thus beginning Mexico’s War of Independence against the Spaniards.

The tradition of El Grito gathers Mexicans, Mexican-Americans, and fellow supporters from around the world in the Grito, or call, led by city officials to the public, and a joyful response of “¡Viva!” or “Live!” shouted in return.

Thus, this day begins a month-long celebration of Mexican traditions and Latino culture.

In Downtown Phoenix, we have some beautiful ceremonies and events throughout the city during Hispanic Heritage Month. From Folklórico to games to Mariachi, here are just a few to choose from.

El Grito Celebration in 2022. (Photo: El Grito Phoenix)

El Grito Celebration

What better way to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month than with a traditional El Grito celebration? With free entry, food, drinks, ballet Folklórico, Mariachis, and Lucha Libre alike, you won’t want to miss out on this traditional celebration of the Mexican Independence Day. It’s taking place on Friday, Sept. 15, from 4 to 11 p.m. at 3rd Ave. and Adams St.

For more information, visit elgritophoenix.com

Third Friday at Civic Space Park

After stopping by El Grito, pay a visit to Civic Space Park for a Hispanic Heritage Month-themed celebration from 5 to 9 p.m. Enjoy food and refreshments from food trucks, and learn to salsa and dance the bachata. This event is free to attend.

For more information, visit onyxartevents.com.

Diamondbacks Hispanic Heritage Weekend at Chase Field

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Diamondbacks will host their Hispanic Heritage Weekend at Chase Field to thank the Latino community for all of their support. Get your Serpientes hat on Friday, Sept 15, at 6:40 p.m. The following games will be hosted on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 5:10 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 17, at 1:10 p.m.

For tickets and more information, visit mlb.com

3rd Annual Latino LGBTQ+ Pride Festival

Come one, come all to a one-of-a-kind celebration of the LGBTQ+ Latino Individuals and allies alike. This exciting event will showcase some of the best in Drag, live music, baile Folklórico, and more! This event is taking place Saturday, Sept. 16, from 4 p.m. to Midnight at Heritage Square.

For tickets and more information, visit the Latino Pride Alliance Eventbrite.

Alejandro Fernandez: Amor Y Patria

Alejandro Fernandez, better known to his fans as “El Potrillo,” one of the best-selling Latin music artists, will be coming to town to play his style of Mexican folk music, such as Mariachi and Charro blended into pop. The show will occur on Sunday, Sept. 17, at the Arizona Financial Theater at 8 p.m.

For tickets and more information, visit livenation.com.

DTPHX Lotería

Our signature event encapsulates the traditional game of Lotería while incorporating the entire Downtown Phoenix community. Enjoy a family-friendly, fun art walk that celebrates our robust Latino artist community and local businesses. From Friday, Oct. 6 through Sunday, Oct. 15, explore Downtown Phoenix and fill out your tabla to win a prize and make unforgettable memories.

For more information, visit dtphx.org/loteria

There are so many reasons to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and the beauty of Mexican/South American culture. However, as a reminder, while these historic landmark events are crucial to understanding Mexican culture, they resulted from a tipping point of oppression from centuries of colonization by the Spaniards.

Spain only acknowledged Mexico as an independent country eleven years after their defeat. Still, these traditions persisted and flourished despite the oppression Mexican Natives faced during Spain’s colonization. Nothing makes me more proud to be a Latina than the strength of our ancestral family and our people to take back our country.

That said, go out and see what traditions Mexico has brought to the States!