P O W E L L, W y o. - The Northwest College Multicultural Events Committee and Spanish Club invite area residents to a Mexican Independence Day Celebration beginning at noon Sunday, Sept. 16, in Washington Park. Envisioned as a grass-roots affair, community members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and a picnic of favorite foods to share.
The three-hour event starts with a parade of Mexican and American flags while the Mexican National Anthem is played. The afternoon features live music, games for children, a dance demonstration and lots more. Mexican foods like flautas and churros will also be available for purchase at minimal cost.
Mary Ellen Ibarra-Robinson, an assistant professor of Spanish at NWC and Spanish Club sponsor, said, "Sept. 16 is an important date for many of our local citizens and community members who have Mexican roots. This celebration gives Big Horn Basin residents a great opportunity to share in a historical and cultural event important to our country's neighbor to the south."
The date commemorates the beginning of the fight for Mexican Independence. According to Ibarra-Robinson, on the evening of September 15, 1810, Father Hidalgo called people to unite against the Spaniards with the "Grito de Dolores," the cry to fight for liberty. The people started Their march toward Mexico City the next day. Fourteen years later the war ended in 1824.
Today, thousands of people gather on Sept. 16 in the main plaza in Mexico City where the president rings the original bell that was used to call the people to action and once again gives the Grito de Dolores, "Viva Mexico! Viva La Independencia!"
"Independence is valued by Americans, and something to be celebrated in any culture," Ibarra-Robinson said. "This promises to be a wonderful afternoon of Mexican tradition and another way for us as Americans to celebrate our freedoms as we learn how another country celebrates its independence."