BY NATALY VASQUEZ
Gran Plaza Outlets had an early El Grito celebration on September 8 with guest appearances like Septima Banda, Mariachi Mixteco, La Cachima, Los Reyes, and Max Torres from La Voz Kids Mexico.
Independence Day in Mexico is a Mexican holiday to celebrate the “cry of independence” known as “el grito” on September 16. This holiday celebrates the day of Miguel Hidalgo, who was one of the nation’s leaders during the War of Independence in Mexico. It is said that he made a cry of independence in the town of Dolores in Guanajuato. His speech is also known as the cry of Dolores and was made to motivate people to rise up against the Spanish regime. Living in a border town, it is important that we know our border’s traditions and unite both cities in a community event.
Septima Banda came to the stage at around 11 pm, but the audience enjoyed a variety of music which made everyone get on their feet and dance. Los Reyes is a band formed by young males from Calexico High School.
“We feel very honored and happy to be invited to play at this event, we did not expect it,” Los Reyes announced with such joy. La Cachimba also made some positive comments about bringing the community together. “No a las malas vibras, todos somos iguales” this means “no bad vibes, everyone is the same” the band simply wanted both cities to come together and enjoy music regardless of ethnicity or status. The audience also enjoyed a variety of food stands and drinks. Sandra Zepeda, owner of Asadero Neighborhood Mexican restaurant in Calexico promoted their restaurant by bringing tacos and hot dogs to the Gran Plaza event.
Regardless of the gloomy weather, people enjoyed themselves and sang along with Septima Banda, who were recently nominees for the 2017 Premios Tu Mundo as favorite regional Mexican artist. They also scored number one on regional Mexican songs on the Billboard music chart. It is an honor and privilege that a popular band can come and play in the Imperial Valley— people can get the concert experience in their hometown.
Briana Chairez, from Calexico, decided to come to the event because she is a fan of Septima Banda. It was her first time coming to an event at Gran Plaza Outlets and she enjoyed herself and is glad she came to the event. “I feel safe because of the security and police officers working at the event. It is also cool to see people around that I grew up with being here for the Fiestas patrias,” she says.
By the end of the night, the Consulate General of Mexico did the tradition of el grito yelling “Que Viva Calexico, Que Viva Mexicali” and the audience responded with pride, “Que Viva!”