Cultural fiesta to celebrate diversity, tradition and independence



A new cultural experience is coming to Marshalltown.

In celebration of Mexican Independence Day, a cultural fiesta will be free and open to the public later in September.

The Marshalltown Arts and Culture Alliance will host the first ever cultural fiesta at West End Park in the 13th Street District on Sept. 19. From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., the park will be filled with live music, folkloric dance, piñatas, food trucks, traditional beverages and more.

Marshalltown Arts and Culture Alliance Executive Director Amber Danielson said the event primarily is to provide an opportunity to celebrate as a community, but also to provide education and awareness.

“We hope that the entire community comes to enjoy this celebration, regardless of their backgrounds,” Danielson said. “We see this as our community celebrating the rich cultures that are within our community and make up who Marshalltown is.”

While discussing ways to celebrate Mexican culture, it just so happened to be that Mexican Independence Day was quickly approaching on Sept. 16.

While many believe Cinco de Mayo is the holiday celebrating Mexico’s independence, the day is actually a celebration of Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War in 1862. Sept. 16 is the day the leader of the War of Independence in Mexico, Miguel Hidalgo, made a cry of independence in 1810.

Materials containing information about the origins and history of Mexican Independence Day will be passed out at the fiesta.

“We have a lot of events in our community of gathering for celebrations and we have such a rich diversity and culture in our community,” Danielson said. “We really see this as one of hopefully many as we look to future celebrations of all of our cultures that make up our community here in Marshalltown.”

Live music from a local band from Tama, Los De La Villa will begin at 2 p.m. Folkloric dance by Des Moines-based group Nuestra Danza sin Fronteras will be out and about entertaining attendees in full costume. Organizers are asking event goers to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit and enjoy the entertainment.

Marshalltown Arts and Culture Alliance experience committee member Wendy Soltero said it’s exciting for her to see a Marshalltown organization recognize the value of Marshalltown’s diversity.

“Diversity is an asset, ” Soltero said. “Art is universal and celebrating culture with respect is a gift. My hope is everyone accepts this wonderful gift and will join us in celebrating not only Mexican Independence Day, but a day to come together as a community to learn about each other and experience traditions, art and culture from another country without leaving their town.”

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Contact Trevor Babcock

at 641-753-6611 or

tbabcock@timesrepublican.com.