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Popular Mexican Fiesta celebration is Saturday

INDEPENDENCE -- Hundreds of residents from across the Willamette Valley will flood into Riverview Park and Amphitheater Saturday for the annual Independence Mexican Fiesta.

This year's Independence Mexican Fiesta will include children's activities like face painting, live music, authentic Mexican cuisine and crafts throughout the day.

Photo by Pete Strong

This year's Independence Mexican Fiesta will include children's activities like face painting, live music, authentic Mexican cuisine and crafts throughout the day.

August 27, 2013

INDEPENDENCE -- Hundreds of residents from across the Willamette Valley will flood into Riverview Park and Amphitheater Saturday for the annual Independence Mexican Fiesta.

With humble beginnings in the Roth's Family Market parking lot in the late 1980s, the annual fiesta is an event marked on many calendars months in advance.

Hosted by Independence-Monmouth Community, a nonprofit committed to supporting cultural diversity in Independence and Monmouth, the fiesta is more than just a celebration of Hispanic culture.

"Nowadays, we don't just have Hispanic people," Elena Pena, Independence-Monmouth Community president, said. "Hispanic people are married into white and black families. There's no segregation."

All Nations Tribe, a local Native American group, joined by Mayor John McArdle, will get the day rolling with a blessing.

Five musical acts, some from as far away as Alaska, will perform throughout the 11-hour celebration.

Vendors offering authentic Mexican cuisine, various crafts and goods will be spread throughout the park .

All-day children's activities, contests and raffles round out the festivities.

Saturday's fiesta will be preceded by Friday night's Fiesta Mexicana, the last night of the River's Edge Summer Concert Series.

Organized by Alex Trevino, River's Edge coordinator, last year, Fiesta Mexicana was such a hit, he brought it back for 2013.

Both events are separate entities but still embody the same celebratory spirit.

The annual fiesta is a hit every year because of the community's support.

"The whole idea is the whole community is involved," Pena said.

Fiesta Fun

What: Independence Mexican Fiesta, hosted by Independence-Monmouth Community.

When: Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Where: Independence Riverview Park and Amphitheater.

Admission: Free.

Of note: The fiesta is alcohol and smoke free.

For more information: Elena Pena, 503-838-3518; www.i-mcommunity.org.

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