An outdoor mass will be dedicated to support immigrants
[dropcap]F[/dropcap]iesta del Sol will celebrate again another year of community festivities. This free four-day annual summer festival for people of all ages takes place in Pilsen between Morgan Street and Ashland Avenue, and will run from July 31-Aug. 3.
A new event at Fiesta del Sol this year will be an outdoor mass led by the Claretian Missionaries on Aug. 3 at noon on the main stage. The mass will be dedicated to support immigrants and DREAMers, and will recognize the humanitarian crisis of the 47,000 immigrant children in detention centers.
The mass will include a mile-long march led by the DREAMers who will carry flags from various countries. All DREAMers are welcome to join the procession and to carry a flag from their native country, along with the U.S. flag. There will also be 12 DREAMers carrying posters that represent their personal stories. These posters will be placed at the main stage after the march.
Fiesta del Sol began in 1972 as a way to celebrate the completion of Benito Juarez High School. It is organized by the Pilsen Neighbors Community Council, and continues to this day as a way to commemorate a year’s work, to generate revenue for the Pilsen community, and as an opportunity to come together for music, food and events.
Teresa Fraga, a member of the Pilsen Neighbors Board and Fiesta del Sol leader said Fiesta del Sol draws in more than one million fiesta goers each year, and is a symbol of the pride the Pilsen community has in its history and unique organizing work. “Benito Juarez High School and Fiesta del Sol are the result of an organized community that refused to take no for an answer,” said Fraga.
Fiesta del Sol is a historically symbolic event distinct for its cultural arts, music and informational booths.
Notable musicians at Fiesta del Sol will include Sal y Pimienta, who will be performing on July 26 at 8:45 p.m., and Encuentro de Jaraneros, who will provide a Fandango under the Benito Juarez High School bridge on July 24 around 9 p.m. Encuentro de Jaraneros are Mexican artists and instrument makers, which brings in a unique opportunity for young children to learn about traditional art that has been passed on for many generations.
Making Movies, a bilingual band from Kansas City, will be performing at Fiesta del Sol on Aug. 2. Half of their band consists of individuals originally from Guatemala. The lyricist and lead singer, Enrique Chi, expresses how many of their lyrics have been influenced by an immigrant neighborhood in Kansas City that is similar to Pilsen. The album “A La Deriva” explores the struggle of a family coming to the United States with the hope of living the “American Dream,” only to face many barriers.
The tempo of the music consists of a fun and energetic blend of psychedelic rock and Latino roots inspired by Ruben Blades and the Beatles. Chi expresses how he is excited to be a part of Fiesta del Sol because it will be an opportunity to expose their music to a family-based audience of all ages.
The streets of Fiesta del Sol will be filled with colorful entertainment for all ages. Six groups of Chinelos will parade around throughout the festival, and fiesta goers will be encouraged to dance and take pictures with them. There will also be high school students providing entertainment such as robot break dancing and the “Quebradita.”
Informational booths at the festival will share details about educational opportunities, the Affordable Health Care Act, citizenship and voter registration. These booths include the Keeping Healthy Campaign, which will do exams and screenings, and the University Round Table, which will provide details on financial aid, enrollment and programs.
“To the vendors, sponsors, including this years 18 scholarship recipients, [Fiesta del Sol] is an economic engine. To our local entertainment, it is an opportunity to perform and share their talent. To the families, it’s a safe alcohol and tobacco-free environment with the children’s area, health fair and much more. Everyone takes something back home,” said Fraga.
1400 W. Cermak Rd. (Between Morgan Ave. and Ashland Ave.)
Thursday, July 31 – August 3
Thursday : 5 p.m.-10 p.m.
Friday-Saturday : 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
For more information about Fiesta del Sol, visit www.fiestadelsol.org