OCEANSIDE — The Civic Center Plaza and adjacent streets will be bustling with a festive celebration of Noche Mexicana on Sept. 10. Thousands of North County residents are expected to attend.
The annual grassroots event has celebrated Mexico’s independence for 13 years. The free event also kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month.
Councilwoman Esther Sanchez has been part of the planning committee from the start. The city celebration showcases local talent and area Latino businesses.
“The best part about Noche Mexicana is bringing the community together in celebration of a beautiful culture in dance, music, art and food,” Sanchez said.
This year’s honored guests include Lalo Alcaraz, a nationally syndicated cartoonist and creator of “La Cucaracha,” and young singer Angelito Garcia, who recently competed on “La Voz Kids.”
The highly acclaimed Mariachi Juvenil de San Diego and Ballet Folklorico Tapatio de Oceanside groups will also perform. Classical Mariachi, Huasteco, and Norteno music will be played throughout the afternoon and evening.
Noche Mexicana will begin with a color guard presentation by Oceanside firefighters in honor of Sept. 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, followed by a moment of silence.
Next will be the traditional blessing of the event area by Calpulli Omeyocan Danza Azteca.
Festivities will conclude with a re-enactment of Grito de Delores, Mexico’s cry for independence, led by a representative from the Mexican Consulate.
In addition to main stage performances there will be exhibitions by SoCal Pro Wrestling, a lineup of Por Siempre Car Club classic cars, children’s activities sponsored by the Oceanside Public Library and food, craft and merchandise booths.
The event and monthlong recognition honor the strength and accomplishments of Latino Americans.
“It’s important to recognize and celebrate the many contributions the Latino community has made to Oceanside and to this country,” Sanchez said.
The yearly celebration has grown in notoriety and community support. Tri-City Medical Center, Wells Fargo, MetroPCS, and Telemundo 20 and NBC 7 are this year’s title sponsors.
“We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month to honor the rich Latino culture which runs so deep through our community,” Richard Kelley, president and general manager of Telemundo 20 and NBC 7 television stations, said.
In-kind contributions will be provided by performers, nonprofits and local businesses.
“We are also very proud of our other generous sponsors, including the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce, Oceanside firefighters, MiraCosta Community College and Ocean’s Eleven,” Sanchez said.
Noche Mexicana is put on by the Oceanside Noche Mexicana Committee, a nonprofit group of Oceanside officials, residents, businesses and service organizations. The committee is dedicated to the social, educational and economic betterment of Oceanside’s Latino neighborhoods and families.
Noche Mexicana takes place at the Civic Center Plaza from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 10.