October 2018

My Experience at Fiesta Patrias in Bryan-College Station teaser image
The Fiestas Patrias Mexicanas of Bryan/College Station was founded in the early 1990’s by Emilio Lopez, Sr., and Roy Lopez. For over 25 years they have organized a cultural celebration parade that draws hordes of people to the Historical Downtown Bryan District. The association also supports education by awarding scholarships to high school students, adults and educators.

This was my second time in attendance at the Fiesta Patrias. The first time was not as good as the second because I went unprepared to witness a splendid celebration of culture. The second time I went with seats and enough money to buy some delicious ice cream when the heat got unbearable. I also went early, picked a good vantage spot, and I had a great time!

The Fiestas Patrias is a patriotic holiday in Mexico when the anniversary of Mexican Independence from Spain is marked as a call for an independent nation. It began with Father Miguel Hidalgo was the parish priest of the small town of Dolores. His interests and political convictions for oppressed people led him to take brave decisions. He rang the church bell in Dolores that sparked a revolution leading to this wonderful celebration.

Alma Villareal has been the organizer for over 20 years. The parade commenced at noon on Sunday September 16, 2018. There were colorful apparels, sonorous music, vintage cars and horses of various sizes. It was a display of tradition that inspired me and reminded me of my roots. Seeing children participating in all the activities was an encouraging part that depicted the continuity of their cultural experience. The Texas A&M Band was there to give a sense of oneness and magnanimity in support too. The day ended with a question by my daughter, “When are we going to have an African Parade?”.

Patricia Kio
Patricia is a Ph.D. student in the College of Architecture

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