Hispanic Heritage Month kicked off Thursday, Sept. 15, with the Mexican Consulate of Tucson’s annual Mexican Independence Day concert, featuring the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.
It was the first of many events citywide through Oct. 15 to spotlight Tucson’s vibrant Hispanic culture and community.
Originally introduced as Hispanic Heritage Week by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968, the holiday now known as Hispanic Heritage Month was extended by the Reagan administration in 1988 to cover a 31-day period.
Hispanic Heritage Month is a time Americans can learn about and celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Sept. 15 marked the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico’s Independence Day was Sept. 16 while Chile marks its anniversary on Sept. 18.
Not only are Tucson’s heritage and traditions deeply engrained into the region, the community’s appreciation for the places they call their own has never been anything but vibrant.
Here are some of the events being held to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Tucson.
For those in love with the arts, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra began its inaugural series, “¡Celebración Latina!”
The series, the brainchild of TSO Conductor Jose Luis Gomez, aims to celebrate the Tucson community’s lively Hispanic roots with a series of concerts started by the Consulate of Mexico in Tucson’s annual Mexican Independence Day Concert on Sept. 15. On Sept. 17, longtime Tucson retro-cumbia band Orkesta Mendoza joined the TSO in concert for the first time at the Linda Ronstadt Music Hall, 260 S. Church Ave. The series continues with “Fandango Fabuloso” on Sept. 23 and Sept. 25 with violinist Anne Akiko Meyers performing the Southwest premiere of Mexican composer Arturo Márquez’s “Fandango” concerto for violin.
While Hispanic Heritage Month concludes on Oct. 15, “¡Celebración Latina!” will not. For two shows, the TSO will be performing the score to Disney’s “Coco” while the film will be projected on the big screen. Audiences will be able to experience this live in concert on Oct. 29 and 30.
For more on “¡Celebración Latina!”, visit the series’ site here.
Sonoran Restaurant Week started at the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month and wrapped up on Sept. 18.
Food-lovers chose from over 100 different restaurants and their own special menus. Each restaurant participating is offering prix fixe options of $25, $35 or $45 for customers. For more information on the event, click here, or head to the Sonoran Restaurant Week official website.
Tucson’s ethnically-diverse food culture will get another spotlight during Tucson Meet Yourself in early October.
Tucson Meet Yourself, which began in 1974, is an annual three-day event held during the second weekend in October. Event-goers can enjoy food, art and live performances from different cultures and communities that make up Tucson.
Tucson Meet Yourself begins on Friday, Oct. 7, and runs through Sunday, Oct. 9, downtown. For more information on the event, visit their official website here.
There are plenty of ways for sports fans to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month while seeing the teams they love.
From Sept. 16-18, the Arizona Diamondbacks held Hispanic Heritage Weekend during their three-game homestand against the San Diego Padres.
Each Diamondback game during the weekend highlighted different cultures and groups of our Latino community including from the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico, according to the team’s official website. At Saturday’s game, the first 10,000 fans received a “Serpientes” replica jersey, the Diamondbacks’ City Connect jersey.
On Oct. 6, the Vamos a Tucson Mexican Baseball Fiesta, returns for its 11th time. Fans will be able to watch four teams from the Mexican Pacific League, as well as the Arizona Wildcats baseball team, face off against the Naranjeros de Hermosillo, a professional baseball team from Hermosillo, Sonora.
The event will be held at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium, 2500 E. Ajo Way, from Thursday, Oct. 6 to Sunday, Oct. 9. For tickets or information about any of the games, their official website can be found here.
The Arizona football team will also be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month during their game on Oct. 8 against the University of Oregon. This also coincides with UA’s Family Weekend. For more information, click here.
Other Hispanic Heritage events include:
- Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Lupita Infante paired with Grammy-nominated band Mariachi Herencia de Mexico for one night only for Mariachi Herencia de México with Lupita Infante. The event was organized by Arizona Arts Live, and was held on Friday, Sept. 16, at Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress St.
- Afro-Cuban rockstar CimaFunk will be stopping at Hotel Congress for his “Al Alimento” tour. The concert, presented by Arizona Arts Live, is at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28. For more information, visit Arizona Arts Live here.
- On Sept. 21, the historic Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St., screened the film “Huesera,” presented by Cinema Tuscón. The 2022 film by Michelle Garza Cervera was not for the faint of heart, as the supernatural horror film follows a woman “whose joy at becoming pregnant with her first child is quickly taken away when she's cursed by a sinister entity,” according to Cinema Tucsón’s website.
- On Sept. 23, the Hispanic Alumni Club will celebrate its 40th anniversary. For ticket information, click here.
- Finally, at 8 p.m. on Oct. 9, “Sugar Skull! A Dia de Muertos Musical Adventure” will be live at Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd., on the UA campus. This musical, presented by Arizona Arts Live, follows Vita Flores, a 12-year-old “who thinks her family has gone loco planning a celebration for deceased loved ones,” according to the event page, where you can get more information and tickets.
*El Inde Arizona is a news service of the University of Arizona School of Journalism.
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