Month-Long Cultural Festival Features Numerous Events and Unveilings
September 15 marks a day of vast importance in Tucson – it’s the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, and Mexican Independence Day celebrations begin that evening.
Located just 60 miles north of the U.S. Mexico border, Tucson will commemorate the occasion Sept. 15- Oct. 15 during its inaugural ¡Viva Tucson! Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. This month-long observance features myriad events and unveilings that will lighten the community’s Hispanic roots and inclusive mindset through public displays of art, music, film, and food.
The celebration will kick off Sept. 15 at the downtown mainstay Fox Theatre with a Mexican Independence Day Concert hosted by The Consulate of Mexico in Tucson. The Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Mariachi Aztlán from Pueblo High School, and Compañía de Danza Folkórica Arizona will perform music from classic, traditional and new Mexican composers to commemorate the deep-rooted Hispanic and Mexican traditions in Southern Arizona. It will conclude with the civic ceremony “El Grito,” which translates to “the outcry” and commemorates the birth of Mexico as a nation.
“¡Viva Tucson! Celebrates not only Mexico’s independence, but also that of other Latin American countries such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Chile, and Belize,” said Felipe Garcia, President and CEO of Visit Tucson. “I’d encourage locals and visitors alike to experience one or multiple events firsthand. No matter your heritage or ancestry, I guarantee you’ll learn something about others and, perhaps, yourself. After all, ¡Viva Tucson! is a celebration of not just Hispanic heritage but also the vibrance of humanity and Tucson’s strong sense of community.”
The celebration will continue through Oct. 15 with notable events, including:
- Release Party of “Las Hermanas” Beer, Sept. 16: Hispanic female brewers hailing from both sides of the U.S. Mexico border have collaborated to create a new brew that celebrates the diplomacy shared between the two countries. Called “Las Hermanas” or “the sisters,” the beer was brewed at facilities in both Mexico and the U.S. The release party will occur at Borderlands Brewing Company in Tucson, with the brewers from Cielito Lindo in Mexico also in attendance.
- Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta, Oct. 6-9: The 11th annual Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta will return Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium. This year’s event will include four Mexican Pacific League (Liga ARCO Mexicana Del Pacifico) teams and the University of Arizona Wildcats. While some die-hards zone in on the matchups, this annual tradition is as much about the fanfare as it is about the game. Spectators enjoy Mexican food, music, and revelry.
- Tucson Meet Yourself, Oct. 7-9: This free, three-day festival that’s fondly referred to as “Tucson Eat Yourself” celebrates the living traditional arts of Southern Arizona’s and Northern Mexico’s diverse communities. Hundreds of artisans, home cooks, dancers, musicians, and special exhibits honor beauty in all its diverse, informal, and everyday forms.
For a complete list of events in Tucson surrounding Hispanic Heritage Month and to learn more about some of Tucson’s most inspiring Hispanic residents, including recent James Beard Foundation winner Don Guerra, please visit VisitTucson.org/Viva.
Continue the Celebration
While ¡Viva Tucson! Occurs exclusively Sept. 15-Oct. 15, Tucson celebrates its Hispanic roots year-round. Because of the city’s proximity to the border, there is spillover from both sides – and it’s omnipresent in Tucson’s food, art, music, events, and sense of community. There’s a constant ebb and flow of people and ideas that are so embedded in the city’s identity that long-time residents barely even notice it’s there.
Continue your appreciation of Tucson’s Hispanic heritage throughout the year by dining at one of the restaurants on The Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food, attending an event like the All Souls Procession or Pueblos del Maiz, or learning about a prominent Latin artist on display at the Tucson Museum of Art.