National Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15th, and Mexican Independence Day on September 16th, IHelpIE is set to host its El Grito event at the Rialto Senior Center on Friday, September 16th, from 2-5 PM.
While the event is being held at the senior center, it’s open to the public, and attendees can expect to be greeted with live music by Frankie y la 3ra Revolucion, a nacho bar, agua fresca beverages, decorations, and dancing.
“It’s been three years since our last El Grito event in 2019, so we’re excited to bring it back for our seniors and citizens of Rialto. It’s so important that people become more aware of the contributions of people of color and Latino descent to our country. We want to reinforce the historical aspect of this real battle for freedom and that, as Americans, we can relate to that. We’re celebrating our ancestor’s sacrifices, freedom, and democracy,” said IHelpIE President Maricela Ferguson.
Ferguson, who is of Mexican and Black descent, and her mother from Sonora, Mexico, say cultures must acknowledge and understand one another.
“Even though it was Mexican independence, we celebrate all Latino independence; this event is for everyone. Although it’s for people who are not Latino, we want other cultures and ethnicities to know that they are welcome and encouraged to celebrate with us. It’s important to understand each other’s culture,” continued Ferguson.
Another exciting event element is the crowning of two princesses and one queen.
“Each time this event takes place, we ask if any seniors would like to run for the queen, who then act as ambassadors to the event and sell tickets. Each ticket sold is a vote, and they get into it. The princesses and queen will be wearing a green, white, and red sash representing the sacrifices of those before us who selflessly fought for our freedoms,” concluded Ferguson.
The Grace Vargas Senior Center is located at 1411 S Riverside Ave, Rialto.