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Alhambra hosts its first annual Latino Heritage Festival

Alhambra hosted its first Latino Heritage Festival on Sunday. The festival was held next to the Farmers Market at South Second Street between Main and Commonwealth. Performerssome of whom were local residentstreated the crowd to traditional music and dance. 

“I hope we can have more community oriented events like this. It's good for the kids. We shall have all culture events, that would be nice,” said Kathy Duran, a long-time resident who has been living in Alhambra for more than 40 years.A band plays a noontime set | Photo by Tim Loc

As the demography of Alhambra gets more diversified, some residents think the city needs to create more ways to bridge the gaps between different communities. “People should know more about the differences. Latino culture has Mexican, Puerto Rican, Honduran, Cuban and a lot. Just like the Asian culture has Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and et cetera,” said Guadalupe Machuca, a resident of Alhambra.

“Today is also the Middle Autumn Festival in Chinese culture. It’s interesting to come over here, and learn something about different cultures,” said Helen Chan, who was visiting from Rosemead.The flags of different South American countries | Photo by Tim Loc

This festival is organized by the city as a part of the National Hispanic Heritage Month celebration, which was first initialized in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week, then developed to a month-long event in 1988. According to the celebration's website:

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.
 
The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.

The city plans to make this festival an annual event and reach out to more people. “We hope people can spread the word, and more people would come to join us,” said Mayor Luis Ayala.

Thank you for reading our story! Alhambra Source is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our newsroom reports fact-based quality journalism that educates, informs and engages our diverse communities - with no paywall. Support our mission and donate today!

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6 thoughts on “Alhambra hosts its first annual Latino Heritage Festival”

  1. Bring Mark Paulsen back for 12 more years. Keep Alhambra government a family affair.
    Why have new faces when the old ones are still pulling the strings? Rafael you were right on with most of your comments. Lee Dolley has been billing the city forever.

    1. How silly, nothing last forever…

  2. Rafael Contrearas

    It is very interesting that we have a latino mayor who does not show up for the first latino festival event in the city. I talked with my neighbor who works at city hall and this festival was requested by him to have and he does not even attend – really?

    All Ahambran’s wake-up. All of the current city council members are lame ducks and by 2018 we will have five new faces who will represent the citizens of Alhambra. The same old guard will finally be gone. Let’s elect people who care about our community and who do not want life time medical after they leave office or ensuring family members get hired by the city.

    We need some real change and only the voter’s can make the change needed. Corruption is alive and well at city hall. You think Bell, Vernon or Industry are bad? Why are we are paying former City Attorney Lee Dolley to fight for the 710 freeway that will never be built. Band together and help clean up city hall and get rid of the folks that have brought down this great city.

    1. We appreciate your comment but I just want to make a note: Mayor Luis Ayala was in attendance at the festival. I saw him speak on stage.

    2. @ Rafael.

      The current council may not be your best but just because you want fresh faces doesn’t guarantee they will be any better.

  3. Some changes, hopefully at least the city council acknowledges that we, Latinos, ARE PART OF THE CITYSCAPE. During the 70’s a group of us organized a Latino group and wanted to celebrate certain Latino holidays. City council/city hall put up many roadblocks/laws to keep us from doing those celebrations, finally after much haggling we were able to organize some celebrations mainly because WE WERE VOTERS AND DEMANDED OUR FAIR OF RIGHTS GUARANTEED TO ALL ALHAMBRA RESIDENTS; but not without continuous opposition from “Alhambra establishment groups” that felt the city should not allow different ethnic/racial groups to celebrate our heritages.Hopefully this celebration continues and grows to become a large city celebration.

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