Mexican Heritage Fiesta to be celebrated in Port Arthur

Mexican Heritage Fiesta

Grupo Flash will return to the 45th Mexican Heritage Society Fiesta in Port Arthur. The cumbia and salsa band was so popular this past year that the 2013 fiesta has added an extra hour for the party to continue, promoters for the event said.

“Last year (patrons) didn’t want to leave the Civic Center because of the music and the band,” said Robert Moreno Jr., the society’s vice president.

Folklorico dancers in state costumes, spicy aro­mas from food vendors, pageants and music will color the event beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Robert A. “Bob” Bowers Civic Center, 3401 Cultural Center Drive, in Port Arthur.

Other music includes Mariachi Real Mexicanisi­mo, Cazadores and D.J. Hot Sauce.

Also returning, according to Moreno, is another draw — corn in a cup laden with the customer’s choice of mayonnaise, lime, cheese and salsa pican­te.

“It’s getting better and better every year,” said Moreno, who added that he’d be sure to get the salsa in his cup.

The fiesta allows the Mexican Heritage Society to share culture through music, folklorico dance and food. Proceeds go toward college scholarships for high school students of Mexican descent, Moreno said.

The fiesta will be celebrated the week­end before Sept. 16, which is Mexican Independence Day, known in Spanish as Fiestas Patrias. The Mexican holiday com­memorates Mexico’s independence from Spain and originated from the Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores) also known as El Grito de la Independencia (Cry of Inde­pendence). The event was a pronounce­ment from Mexican priest Miguel Hidalgo on Sept. 16, 1810. Hidalgo addressed the people in front of his church, encouraging them to revolt, marking the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence.

Vendors for this year’s fiesta will include Patrillo Leather Goods, H-E-B Pharmacy with health screenings and snacks, and Allstate Insurance, Romero’s Grill, Trinity Lutheran Church and St. Joseph Catholic Youth Organization.

Sponsors include Motiva, Southeast Texas Arts Council, Allstate Insurance, H-E-B and BBVA Compass Bank. Day admission is $8 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and children aged 11-17. Younger children will be admitted at no charge with a parent or guardian. Tickets will be $20 for everyone after 6:30 p.m. Patrons will be given a wristband for readmission.