GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Mexican Heritage Association of West Michigan (MHAWM) will hold the 54th Fiesta Mexicana this weekend at the Calder Plaza in downtown Grand Rapids.
Also known as "Los Colores de Mexico," the free family event has become a tradition to celebrate the rich culture and spirit of the largest Latin ethnic group in West Michigan.
The fiesta will begin at noon on Sept. 8 and run through 7 p.m. on Sept. 10.
Fiesta Mexicana is MHAWM's flagship event and one of Grand Rapids' longest-standing ethnic festivals.
For the past 54 years, the festival has turned Calder Plaza into a hub of music, dance, art and food for the community.
This year, the highlight of the festival will be the featured appearance of a 13-foot-tall handmade artisan La Muñeca Lele doll, which is on a world tour.
Lele means "baby" in Otomí, which is an indigenous group that calls central Mexico home.
The doll can be identified by its long braids and crown of colored ribbons, coupled with the traditional clothing characteristic of its creators. The makers of this kind of doll use it to help preserve their Otomí origin through crafts, gastronomy and festivities.
The dolls represent the effort of thousands of Mexican artisan women, as they are made in Querétaro as well as the State of Mexico, Hidalgo and Veracruz.
The doll's journey around the world is part of the public diplomacy campaign #LelePorElMundo. This campaign aims, through an exercise in Mexican public diplomacy, to disseminate and revalue the work of Mexican artisans while promoting the knowledge and traditions of their communities.
The La Muñeca Lele ribbon cutting will take place at Calder Plaza at 5 p.m. on Sept. 8.
In addition to this, the "Grito de Independencia" (Independence Day Grito) Ceremony, in collaboration with the Consulate of Mexico in Detroit, will be held at Calder Plaza at 7 p.m. on Sept 9.
You can see the complete schedule of events and vendors here.
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