- Story Highlights
- Events are taking place Friday and Saturday.
- The Fiesta de El Grito will feature musical performances, dance and food starting at 5 p.m. at the Capitol.
When Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla gave his now-famous cry for independence, or “Grito de Dolores,” on Sept. 16, 1810, he rallied Mexicans to stand up for the country’s freedom from colonial rule. This weekend Austinites will commemorate the 207th anniversary of Mexico’s independence from Spain with celebrations across the city.
Here are five ways to celebrate the Diez y Seis holiday.
1. Fiesta de El Grito
Friday’s free family-friendly event — organized by the Fiesta de Independencia Foundation, the Consulate General of Mexico in Austin, the Mexican American Legislative Caucus and Univision — will feature musical performances, dance and food vendors starting at 5 p.m. on the Capitol’s south lawn. The evening’s highlight includes Austin’s Consul General of Mexico Carlos González Gutiérrez re-enacting Hidalgo y Costilla’s traditional “Grito.”
2. Diez y Seis posters
Check out archival posters from past Fiesta de El Grito celebrations at the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, at 2300 Red River St., through Monday. Many of the posters include original artwork created by Latin American and Texan artists.
3.Culture center’s 10-year anniversary
This year’s Mexican Independence Day festivities coincide with the Emma Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center’s 10th anniversary. The center’s celebration kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday with a special art exhibit featuring the work of longtime local muralist Raúl Valdez. On Saturday, the center, at 600 River St., will offer free theater performances, music, food and children’s activities. Visitors can park for free at Sanchez Elementary and Martin Middle School and catch a shuttle. Capital Metro will offer a free day pass for riders heading to the event from the Rundberg station. Riders must check-in at the bus station at 4:15 p.m. Saturday.
4. Hispanic Heritage Festival
Head to Fiesta Gardens, at 2101 Jesse E. Segovia St., on Saturday for a festival from noon to 10 p.m. that will feature more than eight bands including cumbia group Cañonazo and headliners Yayo Castillo y Rumores. The nonprofit Fiestas Patrias of Austin has been promoting Mexican-American culture locally since the late 1970s, and funds from the annual festival provide scholarships for college-bound students. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children ages 12 and under. For more information, visit diezyseis.org.
5. El Grito Gala
For 30 years, El Buen Samaritano has been addressing the physical, social and emotional well-being of mostly Latino families. The faith-based nonprofit will celebrate its anniversary with an El Grito Gala on Friday at the nonprofit’s campus at 7000 Woodhue Drive. Grammy Award-winning artist Adrian Quesada and his El Buen Social Club will perform at the fundraiser. The band includes other Grammy Award-winning musicians such as Greg Gonzalez of Grupo Fantasma and accordionist and keyboardist Michael Ramos. Tickets for the gala, which runs 7-10 p.m., cost $200 and can be purchased on elbuen.org.