For weeks, nine girls have been practicing traditional Mexican dances in the living room of Fabiola Katthin's home in preparation for the Mexican Independence Day celebration planned for Sept. 16.
Mexican Independence Day is traditionally celebrated Sept. 15. This year's celebration, however, is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 16, to allow more people to attend.
What: 2005 Northwest Colorado Mexican Cultural Festival Mexican Independence Day celebration Where: Tenth Street in front of Centennial Hall When: 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 16 Cost: Free Call: 846-5521
On Mexican Independence Day, the Mexican president and town mayors re-enact the historic moment when Father Miguel Hidalgo went into the street and called the people of Mexico to arms against the Spanish.
The re-enactment is called a "grito," and Steamboat's will be led by Raul and Fabiola Katthin and their three children.
The first annual Mexican Independence Day in downtown Steamboat Springs was thrown together in a couple of weeks. The second annual celebration, to be held next week, took an entire year to plan.
"We've really raised the bar as far as quality and community participation," said Summer Laws, director of Communidad Integrada and co-organizer of this year's Mexican Independence Day celebration. This year, organizers invited the musical group Mariachi Sol de Mi Tierra to perform on 10th Street. The night before the Steamboat celebration, the same band will play for the Mexican Consulate in Denver.
The mariachis will be joined by the Viva Mexico Folklorico dance group, also from Denver and recommended by the Mexican General Consul.
"Celebrating (Mexican Inde--pendence Day) is a chance for an intercultural exchange," Laws said. "We are giving (Mexicans and Steamboat residents) a formal opportunity to get to know each other."
The Mexican Independence Day celebration is funded through grants from the city of Steamboat Springs and Yampa Valley Community Foundation.
The event will be paired with an art exhibit of sketches by Mexican muralist Diego Rivera at the Depot Art Center. More than 200 middle school, high school and college students will be reproducing the sketches in sidewalk paintings along Lincoln Avenue.
After the official Mexican Independence Day celebration ends at 8 p.m., the mariachi band will move indoors to Tequila's Restaurant on Lincoln Avenue for a dinner fund-raiser for Communidad Integrada. Dinner tickets are $20 in advance and are available at Epilogue Book Co. and Tequila's. Pint glasses also will be on sale at Tequila's for $5 each.
The money will be used to fund Communidad Integrada's programs: in-home English classes for non-native speakers, workshops in Spanish on issues that deal with integration and a resource referral center.
-- To reach Autumn Phillips call 871-4210
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