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Birmingham’s Fiesta Celebrates 15 years of Hispanic culture in Alabama Sept. 30 at Linn Park

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Special to The Times

Fiesta 2016 (Provided Photo)

Fiesta, Alabama’s largest celebration of Hispanic culture and heritage, will be held Saturday, Sept. 30 in Birmingham’s Linn Park from 12 to 8 p.m.

This is the 15th year for the festival, which will feature two live music stages.

This year marks an important milestone for the festival—Fiesta’s Quinceañera celebration. In traditional Latin American culture, a girl’s 15th birthday is known as a Quinceañera. It is the most important celebration in Hispanic tradition and involves the girl’s entire family. As such, Fiesta’s 15th anniversary festival is themed “A Celebration of Generations.” More than 15,000 people are expected to attend Fiesta on Saturday.

“It is up to the Hispanics in Alabama to passionately tell our stories and share our rich cultures and traditions with Alabamians of all ages,” says Teresa Zúñiga-Odom, co-president of Fiesta. “And while sharing our stories, it allows us to learn even more about ourselves and how we can best weave ourselves into the communities where we live. The success of Fiesta continues to grow and evolve because the community continues to embrace this event as its own and has done so since its inception.”

The lineup for the main stage will include big-name Hispanic artists such as Celso Piña, Hector Acosta El Torito, Jonatan Sanchez and DJ Crème. There will also be authentic Latin food vendors, dance, Hispanic art, a cultural village, children’s activities, a health and wellness village and more. Guests can also explore the McDonald’s Fiesta Tour, a traveling 50-plus foot exhibit that pays tribute to McDonald’s passion for Latin music.

Since its inception in 2003, Fiesta has served as a bridge, celebrating the culturally diverse traditions of Latin America’s various Spanish-speaking countries in Birmingham. With the goal of educating the public about the many different Hispanic countries and their cultures, Fiesta provides the opportunity for more than 15,000 patrons to journey through 20 represented countries and experience the best of Hispanic art, music, food and dance.

Over the course of its 15-year history, Fiesta has proven to be an excellent resource for the Hispanic community. While the largest crowd can be found in front of the main music stage, Fiesta offers a wide assortment of activities, from storytelling to wrestling exhibitions. Music, dance, performing arts, visual arts, children’s activities, soccer, cultural education, authentic Latin food as well as community and health-related resources are all part of the event.

Fiesta gives Alabamians a unique opportunity to experience the best of Latin American countries and showcases that Birmingham is a community that encourages multiculturalism, sensitivity and acceptance.

Proceeds from Fiesta will help provide scholarships for Hispanic students seeking to further their education in Alabama. Since 2003, Fiesta has awarded more than $70,000 in scholarships to deserving Hispanic students.

Tickets are $8 each in advance at www.fiestabham.com and $15 at the gate. Children ages 12 and under are admitted free.