From September 15 to October 15 the nation will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month a time when all people are asked to pay tribute to the many Latina based cultures who make up our fine country.Â Incidently, September 16 is the day Mexico claimed it's independence from Spain.Â Â
I'm not exactly sure when the holiday started or rather, when the nation decided to acknowledge it, but for as long as I can remember, there was always a celebration in my hometown, Port Arthur.Â (okay, technically it started around the time I turned six.)
Every third weekend in September my family (and I mean everyone in my family) would attend a three day "Mexican Fiesta" held by the Mexican Heritage Society in Port Arthur. At that time, it was held in the parking lot of the local strip mall (can't remember what the name was, but there was a Woolco there...Geez, how old does that make me?)
Anyway, the festivities would start on Friday evening and consist of mostly food booths....what better reason to go to a fiesta I ask?? The food was so totally awesome! made by local families and the money raised for the Heritage Society and the Hispanic community. They also had a pagent to crown a queen (done on Saturday evening), mariachi players, Calpuli dancers, tamale eating contests (which my brother Dave won once) and a street dance (literally since we were in a parking lot) performed by bands from Victoria Texas or Corpus Christie and other towns. Most of the people attending either sat on the gates of their pickup trucks or brought lawn chairs to sit on, making a large circle around an area designated the 'dance floor'. My brothers and sisters and cousins and I used to jump in when the band played The Cotton-eyed Joe....one of the few dances we could do without a partner. Occasionally we were allowed to work a food booth or drink cart...always fun when you're a kid. (and on a side note, I had my first kiss at the fiesta, but I won't say who he was or my age at the time.) ;-P
Nowadays the fiesta is held at the Port Arthur Civic Center and (imo) isn't the celebration it used to be. It's lost a lot in it's transition (mostly the tradition). Sadly though, because of Hurricane Ike, the fiesta was canceled this year.
Anyway, if you've never been to an actual Mexican Fiesta, you should go. Aside from the one in Port Arthur, Brownsville also holds a week long celebration called Charro Days. It's held yearly at the end of February to celebrate the sister cities of Brownsville, Texas and Matamoras, Mexico. I've never had the opportunity to attend this party, but one of these days I will. Especially since I've introduced it in my current WIP, House of Cards (soon to be sold...uh...once I finish it. )
So, how do you plan to celebrate Mexican Independence Day and National Hispanic Heritage Month? I know....why not curl up with a hot Latina Romance? Set in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas Her Will His Way is a lovestory you won't want to put down with characters you won't want to let go.
Available now at Cobblestone Press for only $3.99
(oh, come on, you knew I was going to pitch my book) ;-)