Fiesta Mexicana: Celebrating the Bicentennial of the Independence of Mexico
The Embassy of Mexico, the Mexican Cultural Institute, and the Kennedy Center invite audiences to a "Fiesta Mexicana" to celebrate the Bicentennial of Mexico's Independence at the Kennedy Center South Plaza Stage on September 15. The civic ceremony of El Grito, headed by Mexico's Ambassador to the U.S. Arturo Sarukhan, features performances by Ballet Folklórico de la Universidad Veracruzana, Mariachi Los Amigos with José Ortega and Jesus Hernandez, and culture mashers Ozomatli.
The Ballet Folklórico de la Universidad Veracruzana, one of the most renowned folk dance companies in Mexico, expresses the traditions of its people through music, singing and dance. The two-time Grammy Award-winning band Ozomatli's music is a collision of hip hop, salsa, dancehall, cumbia, samba, funk, merengue, comparsa, East L.A. R&B, New Orleans second line, Jamaican reggae, and Indian raga.
- 6-7 PM
- Tlen Huicani and Trio Tlayoltiyane
- 7-8 PM
- Ballet Folklórico de la Universidad Veracruzana
- 8-8:15 PM
- El Grito Ceremony
- 8:15-8:30 PM
- Mariachi Los Amigos with José Ortega and Jesus Hernandez
- 8:40-10 PM
El Grito de la Independencia ("Cry for the Independence"), first given on September 16, 1810 by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a priest from the small town of Dolores in the State of Guanajuato, was the battle cry that began the Mexican War of Independence. He rang the church bell and called on everyone to fight for liberty. Every September 15 at 11 p.m., the President of Mexico re-creates the moment in which Father Hidalgo gathered his followers in 1810. Appearing before the crowd assembled in Mexico City's Plaza de la Constitución, or Zócalo, one of the largest public plazas in the world, he rings the bell of the National Palace and invites Mexicans to commemorate together the legacy of the heroes of Mexico's independence. This is the high point of a night of excitement and celebration in an event that draws up to half a million spectators in Mexico City's main square alone. A similar festivity occurs in cities and towns all over Mexico and is commemorated by Mexicans all over the world. Mexican Ambassadors abroad replicate this ceremony every year. Following this tradition, Ambassador of Mexico Arturo Sarukhan leads this free ceremony on the Kennedy Center South Plaza.
Note: There is no free parking when attending or picking up tickets for free events.
Major support for Celebrate Mexico 2010 is provided by The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and
Celebrate Mexico 2010 is presented in association with the National Council for the Arts and Culture (Conaculta, Mexico), the Embassy of Mexico, the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Mexican Cultural Institute.
International Programming at the Kennedy Center is made possible through the generosity of the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts.