News Column

Hispanic Heritage Month: 40 Years of Celebration

Sept. 5, 2008


40 Years of Celebration: Highlights Taking Place During Hispanic Heritage Month

40 Years of Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

The vibrant colors, dynamic flavors, lively sounds, and spirited community that are part of United States Hispanic culture are celebrated each year from September 15 to October 15. This year marks the 40th anniversary of what began as National Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 and was expanded in 1988 to encompass the independence days of several Latin American countries that take place September 15, 16, and 18.

Hispanic Heritage Month marks a special opportunity to highlight the rich culture and history of Hispanics in the United States, which many organizations do through concerts, festivals, exhibits, lectures, parties and ceremonies recognizing the outstanding achievements of business and community leaders.

Listed below are some highlights of the month's festivities.

September 7-9
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 2008 Public Policy Conference will be held at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Each day, CHCI invites respected Hispanic leaders to address conference participants during a keynote. The summits are chaired by a Hispanic member of the U.S. Congress. For more information, call (202) 543-1771 or visit

September 7-28
San Jose's Mexican Heritage Plaza will be hosting the 17th Annual San Jose International Mariachi Festival, the second largest mariachi festival in the United States. Highlights include a tribute to mariachi giants Lola Beltran, Amalia Mendoza, and Lucha Reyes, as well as a performance from Los Tigres del Norte. For more information, call (800) MHC-VIVA or visit

September 10
The 31st CHCI Annual Gala will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at the Washington Convention Center. As part of the gala's tradition, CHCI will award Hispanic leaders its Medallion of Excellence for Community Service and its Medallion of Excellence for Leadership. For more information, call (202) 543-1771 or visit

September 12 ´┐Ż September 14
The 15th annual CineSol Film Festival makes its way through south Texas in a traveling festival showcasing the best of Hispanic film and video. CineSol 2008 starts in South Padre Island, Texas, and continues to bring independent film to people in Brownsville, Harlingen, Weslaco, and McAllen, Texas. For more information, call (956) 454-9846 or visit

September 12-19
With more than 100 films, shorts and documentaries presented this year, the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) will take place at the Egyptian Theater and Mann Cinemas in Hollywood, California. During its eight-day run, LALIFF will showcase films from the United States, Latin America, Central America, the Caribbean, Spain, and Portugal and include workshops, panels and lecturers. For more information, call (323) 469-9066 or visit

September 13
The 18th Annual Las Vegas International Mariachi Festival will celebrate Mexico's independence at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. The festival features top mariachi bands Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan and Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez, with special guests Aida Cuevas and Gilberto Gless. For more information, call (800) 637-1006 or visit

September 15´┐ŻOctober 15
In its month-long celebration, the Smithsonian Institution will offer special programs, lectures and musical events. The National Latino Film Festival, which also runs throughout the month, screens an array of U.S. and foreign films. For more information, call (202) 357-2700 or visit

September 20
The 20th Annual Latin Fever Ball, held at the InterContinental Hotel Buckhead in Atlanta, GA, offers Latin rhythms, a lively environment and regional cuisine for attendees. Organized by the Latin American Association, the black tie event features a formal dinner, silent auction, live music and dance exhibitions. For more information, call (404) 638-1800 or visit

September 24-27
The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will hold its 29th Annual National Convention & Business Expo in Sacramento, California where more than 200 exhibitors will be featured, offering Hispanic vendors and corporate buyers the opportunity to establish partnerships. For more information, call (202) 842-1212 or visit

October 5
JuntaHispana is a family-oriented event that celebrates the cultures of 20 Spanish-speaking countries. Taking place in Houston on Oct. 5 and Los Angeles on Oct. 12, the event offers performances and activities that take people on a journey through Spain, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, and Mexico. For more information, visit

October 9-November 23
The University of Miami Frost School of Music presents an array of musical performances during its Festival Miami 2008. The six-week festival is an international celebration of music vibrating with the excitement of world premieres, symphonic concerts, chamber music presentations and jazz performances. For tickets and information, call (305) 284-4940 or visit

Source: (c) 2008. All rights reserved.

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