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50th Fiestas Patrias Parade set for Saturday morning in downtown Houston

This is a special year for Fiestas Patrias as it reaches the historic 50th annual celebration.

HOUSTON – September is Fiestas Patrias time in Houston!

This is a special year for Fiestas Patrias as it reaches the historic 50th annual celebration.

What began as a small idea by Judge Armando V. Rodriguez has flourished into an international celebration of the city’s great diversity, pride of the rich culture, great heritage and the many contributions of Hispanics in our country.

Eight countries commemorate their independence at this time: Belize, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua.

The celebration starts with a pre-parade ceremony starting at 9 a.m. that will include the Consul General of Mexico Oscar Rodriguez Cabrera performing the traditional “El Grito” ceremony in tribute to the historic 50th year being celebrated. This is the first time this ceremony is performed on the streets of Houston Avenida De Las Americas and Texas.

The Fiestas Patrias International Parade will start promptly at 10 a.m. on Avenida De Las Americas and Texas. This annual tradition vibrates the downtown area with the colorful and exciting sights and sounds of the Hispanic culture and heritage.

Fiestas Patrias’ theme is honoring law enforcement and will honor the HISD JROTC organization as the Parade Grand Marshall. Serving as grand marshalls are Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, Harris County Constable Sylvia Treviño and Constable Chris Diaz.

More than 20 JROTC units will participate in the parade, all vying for the honor to lead the parade the following year. The winner of the 2015 competition and leading the parade is Booker T. Washington High School JROTC.

Special guests are Francisco Arriaga, director of the Instituto Latino Americano de Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, President and directly from El Salvador is Liduvina Magarin, vice minister for Salvadorian in the exteriors of El Salvador.

The heart of the parade are the colorful and festive floats representing the historical lore and heritage of the Hispanic communities of Mexico and Central America. There are the beautiful professionally designed floats and the nonprofessional floats designed and decorated to represent the sentiments and pride of the community.

The parade ends with the music, excitement and beauty of the equestrian units. This includes dancers, singers and the beauty of dancing purebred Aztec horses. The Tejano vaqueros are well represented as are the Mexican charros doing their rope twirling on the street and while standing on their horses. The Tejanas female riders also hold their own next to these men.

Judge Armando V. Rodriguez, founder of Fiestas Patrias states, “We have always said that Fiestas Patrias belongs to the community. We take very seriously the pride that the community has demonstrated for these event.”

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