Fiestas Patrias celebration returning to downtown Fresno this year

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno city councilmember Miguel Arias wants to celebrate Latino culture with the return of Fiestas Patrias to downtown.

Already vibrant with the Acero Picado art installation at Mariposa, on September 16 and 17, Fiestas Patrias will make its return to Fulton Street.

Councilman Miguel Arias says, "Downtown Fresno is the heart of the Central Valley and the majority of our community are Latinos from different parts of Mexico. It's important for those who cannot go home and celebrate their own culture and history to be able to do it at home here."

Though Fiestas Patrias has been held downtown previous years, the city is focusing on a celebration of Latino culture like no other.

"Latino festivals have become about the adult entertainment the alcohol beverages. We're going to refocus and make this about our families, youth of our community and celebrating the rich culture and arts of Latin America," said Arias.

Arias says the city has been working with several organizations over the last three months to make the first of its kind celebration authentic, including visiting Etzatlan and meeting with the artists who will create the woven piece to hang overhead.

He adds, "This would be the first time that this artwork is demonstrated outside of Mexico in the United States. It's essentially recycled garbage bags that are knitted for a specific design and pattern."

Arias says the food will represent various regions in Mexico, prepared by the vendors who help the Valley thrive.

"We want the mobile food vendors that typically serve our street corners, our neighborhood, parks and our schools to be front and center in this festival."

Day two would continue the cultural celebration, adding a parade ending with a concert at Chukchansi Park.

Editor's Note: On Thursday, the City of Fresno said installing the woven artwork from light poles is not feasible because the poles cannot hold the weight, according to the city public works department. It's unclear if the artwork will be featured elsewhere.
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