OCEANSIDE — The eve of Mexican Independence Day was celebrated at the Civic Center Plaza on Sept. 15. Noche Mexicana honored Hispanic heritage with five hours of live entertainment that loosely chronicled the song and dance of Mexico from the early Aztecs to modern Mestizos, or “people of mixed culture.”
There were children’s crafts and dozens of novelty and food booths.
The event began as a grassroots celebration in the library community room and has grown to an outdoor event that attracts hundreds. “I enjoy it every year,” Lourdes Garcia, event organizer, said. “We try to make it a little different each year, but how can you change it? You can’t change history.”
The Friends of Oceanside Public Library sponsored the event that celebrates Latino culture with art, music and dance. “We have become a cultural center for the community,” Debra Polich, library director, said. “We share and educate people on the history and culture of Mexico and promote the use of the library.”
Dance troops from Ballet Folklorico Tierra Caliente of Vista and Ballet Folklorico Tapatio of Oceanside performed many of the dances. Dancers, from age 4 to adults, performed traditional dances from many areas of Mexico.
A highlight of the evening was The Cry of Independence that commemorated the Gito de Dolores or “Cry of Dolores” speech by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla. The speech fueled the fight for Mexican independence that was won in 1821.