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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Evanston Pride holds annual Fiesta Hispana celebration

Micah Sandy/The Daily Northwestern
Fiesta Hispana attendees watch Mariachis Sirenas perform at Fountain Square. The all-women mariachi group was one of many attractions at the third annual event.

From the vendors behind their tables to the residents rocking the dance floor, everyone moved to the groove of music playing at Fiesta Hispana, Evanston Pride’s annual fall event for the city’s Latine community Thursday evening.

Music could be heard all around Fountain Square, whether from Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Board President Sergio Hernandez, who served as the event’s DJ, or from the Mariachis Sirenas, an all-women mariachi group. 

The event also featured a dance performance of baile folklórico, a complex dance style portraying Mexican culture — though dancers led by example, everyone moved to their own beat as music cascaded over the streets.

Vendors lined up their tables along Orrington Avenue, which was closed for the event. Each sold unique goods, ranging from candles to art as popular songs such as “Cielito Lindo” played in the background.

5411 Empanadas, a gourmet empanada restaurant chain named after Argentina’s dialing code 5411, was one of the vendors. 

Chicago resident Mariela Pineda, another vendor, attended on behalf of Mexican Elas — her business which sells Mexican goods transported from Mexico, ranging from fish-scale necklaces to wool gabanas.

She said she was surprised that people outside of Evanston’s Latine community were interested in her products. She felt delighted after a resident from France purchased a product from her.

“I feel very content,” said Pineda in an interview translated from Spanish. “I danced … I did well and I had a very good time.”

Representatives from Evanston Latinos and Evanston Pride were also in attendance.

A colorful star-shaped piñata hung down from a tree branch and swayed by the edge of the street. A Mexican tradition, it swung with each hit from the long line of children waiting for their turn at bat. 

Although this year marked the third Fiesta Hispana, the vendor lineup included many first-time witnesses of a night full of cultural connection. Two of these first-time vendors included Pineda and another Chicago resident, Joyce Brown.

Brown, owner of a business called Joyfully, said she uses her background as a Mexican and a Native American when creating her array of products, laying out dreamcatchers among her purple display of handmade jewelry. 

“I try to sell things that inspire me from my roots,” she said. “In this case, I sell dream catchers from Native American culture and when we have these events, I sell things that remind me of Mexican culture in bracelets or necklaces.”

She said the earrings are what sold the most in her jewelry collection. She looks forward to selling more during her time in Chicago and is planning to attend the event next year.

“I think it was wonderful that people were so nice … I think it’s beautiful they support the Latin culture,” said Brown.

The event concluded with a raffle for a basket, which included one item from each vendor.

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @TheMicahSandy

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