Photos by Leda Costa for West Seattle Blog
Saturday’s Fiestas Patrias parade and festival in South Park were a show of pride – pride in community, pride in heritage, pride in spirit. Hundreds lined SP streets to watch and cheer, as parade participants marched, danced, and rode toward the South Park Community Center.
Tradition melded with modern reality for some:
Jessica Ramos and Yesenia Gonzalez of the South Park Women’s Group wore handmade dresses that promote recycling. But before we get to more of the festival – photos of the parade!
South Park-based Seattle Fire Engine 26 led the parade, with the color guard:
Concord International School marched:
Denny International Middle School from West Seattle participates each year too:
This next bonus view of the Denny contingent is courtesy of Principal Jeff Clark:
Back to Leda Costa’s photos for WSB. Here’s the school that traveled the farthest to get to Fiestas Patrias in South Park:
Primary sponsor/presenter for the parade and festival is Sea-Mar Community Services, which as usual participated as well:
Mayor Ed Murray walked the parade route as well:
But at its heart, here’s what Fiestas Patrias is all about, from this year’s official brochure:
Fiestas Patrias commemorates the independence of Latin American countries, many of which celebrate their national independence day in the month of September. For 38 years, the annual Fiestas Patrias festivals held at Seattle Center and in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle have celebrated the Latino community living in the Pacific Northwest.
Fiestas Patrias is an expression of Latino culture: the music, dance, food, folklore and many other traditions that have accumulated over the centuries. This is a fiesta to celebrate our history while taking pride in the new generations of Latinos that now call the United States home. By sharing our cultural traditions, we highlight the importance of diversity and its great value for the people of the United States.
Diversity makes this nation stronger and creates opportunities for prosperity and progress in an environment of peace, tolerance and acceptance. The motto for 2016 Fiestas Patrias is ¡Viva Latinoamérica Unida!, which translates to “Celebrate the unity of Latin America!”
… as underscored by many parade entries:
It was all exciting to parade-watchers, including Tanna on 10th Avenue S., who blew bubbles on the sidelines, saying she was thrilled to have a “front row seat” for the parade.
On to the fiesta at SP Community Center:
There were booths, food trucks, and characters …
The Wenatchee mariachi group played at the festival, too.
While the South Park celebration has ended, Fiestas Patrias continues at Seattle Center today (Sunday), downtown.