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Chico celebrates Mexican holiday

Shelby Keck Five-year-old Azul Vazquez waves Mexico's flag as the Mexican National Anthem is sung during the Mexican Independence Day celebration in Chico City Plaza on Sunday.
Shelby Keck
Five-year-old Azul Vazquez waves Mexico’s flag as the Mexican National Anthem is sung during the Mexican Independence Day celebration in Chico City Plaza on Sunday.

Families gathered and children danced playfully to celebrate Mexican Independence Day on Sunday.

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Northern California was in charge of the 13th annual all-day celebration that featured traditional Mexican music, food and dancing.“We really wanted to bring all the Latino communities together,” said Maria Shahid, the president of the chamber.Mayor of Chico Scott Gruendl and other guest speakers addressed the crowd about the importance of this holiday.“Chico would not be Chico without the influence of the Mexican culture,” Gruendl said to the crowd.Nora Ramirez, a representative for the Consulate of Mexico, expressed how this kind of celebration can benefit everyone.

“It’s really important for Mexicans to have support for their culture,” she said. “It’s also nice to show the American people our traditions.”

Mexican Independence Day is the most important day in Mexican culture, more important than Cinco de Mayo, Ramirez said.

A variety of performers provided entertainment throughout the day, starting with a Zumba dance demonstration.

Liz Chavez, a junior child development major at Chico State, participated in the Zumba dance on the city plaza stage.

“I did it for fun,” Chavez said. “I just like these kind of events because it’s a great way to promote what’s part of my culture.”

The Mexican National Anthem was performed by singer Genaro Fernandez. Other performers featured were Fuerza 5, Juan Jose Loza, Mariachi Mixteco and Banda La Arbolera.

Along with the entertainment, useful resources like free health screenings, spinal screenings and voter registration were also available to the public. Children enjoyed free face painting and raffle prizes were awarded throughout the day.

“This is important to celebrate because Chico is so diverse,” Chavez said. “It’s always important to acknowledge all the cultures.”

Sharon Martin can be reached at [email protected] or @sharonbmartin on Twitter.
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