News Column

Fiestas Patrias Celebrates Cultures of Latin America

Sept. 13, 2012

Madeline McKenzie

Folklorico dancers. File photo.
Folklorico dancers. File photo.

Fiestas Patrias this weekend celebrates the September Independence Days of Mexico, Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Chile -- and the cultures of all Latin American countries -- with events in South Park and at Seattle Center.

Saturday's community parade with dancing horses, floats, cars, marching bands and children in traditional Latin American attire winds through the South Park neighborhood to South Park Community Center for a community fiesta and health fair. Horses from the parade will be on display at the community center's outdoor field starting at 12:30 p.m., part of the all-day event with entertainment, food vendors, informational displays, door prizes and games and activities for kids and families.

Seattle Center's Fiestas Patrias Saturday and Sunday explores the cultural roots and contemporary influences of Central and Latin America through performances, cultural displays, children's activities and a marketplace.

Tamales, empanadas, tacos, tortas, roasted corn and shaved ice are among taste treats from cuisines of Peru, Argentina, El Salvador and various regions of Mexico to fuel festivalgoers for activities including Saturday evening's all-ages dance to salsa and Tex-Mex music.

Performances both days at Fisher Pavilion offer continuous music by mariachi, folkloric, Latin rock and Salsa Merengue bands. Events at the Armory/Center House include a health fair, dance classes and an art exhibit, "La Virgen de Guadalupe: Venerating the Mother of the Americas."

The Best of the NW Youth Boxing Tournament Saturday and Sunday at Seattle Center Pavilion hosts 15 bouts a day and special guests Olympic Games boxer Queen Underwood and Joe "The Boss" Hipp, the first Native-American heavyweight champion.

All events are free and everyone is welcome.

The details

Parade: 11 a.m. Saturday on 14th Avenue South from South Henderson Street to South Cloverdale Street to South Park Community Center, Seattle.

Community Festival: 1-6 p.m. Saturday; South Park Community Center, 8319 Eighth Ave. S., Seattle (206-684-7451).

Fiestas Patrias: Noon-10 p.m. Saturday, noon-6 p.m. Sunday, Seattle Center, Seattle (206-684-7200).

Cost: Free.

Getting there: Seattle Center Monorail (206-905-2620 or; Seattle Center traffic and parking info (; Metro Transit information (206-553-3000 or

More information:

Source: (c)2012 The Seattle Times Distributed by MCT Information Services

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