GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Sunday brought the final day of the Mexican Heritage Association’s Fiesta Mexicana event at Calder Plaza downtown Grand Rapids.
The annual three-day event, celebrating its 50th year, welcomes visitors to sample Mexican culture through food, dance, song and art.
“This is a great opportunity for us to not just tell who we are but show who we are,” event chair Gabriela De La Vega said. “We want to embrace and show everyone what we are. And we can make this beautiful city better because if everyone puts a little bit in the pot, we have a delicious mix.”
The event hosts dances and other performances and welcomes artisans, food trucks and those with Mexican goods to sell to set up shop around the plaza. De La Vega said it creates a feeling similar to the plazas of Mexico.
“You smell the food, you hear the music, you see the artwork,” De La Vega said. “It is a total experience. We are very proud of our culture and it’s on display here.”
The event is planned near Mexican Independence Day, which is Monday. De La Vega says it celebrates both the holiday and inclusion in the United States.
“We don’t want to isolate anyone because we are so proud to live here in the U.S.,” De La Vega said. “We have lived in this community for many, many years and I believe it’s important for our neighbors to understand our history. Especially today this is important, not to be afraid, but to be proud and show who we are.”