Mexican Heritage Fiesta celebrates 55 years with jam-packed event that appeals to all ages

Published 12:20 am Friday, September 8, 2023

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This year’s Mexican Heritage Fiesta will be nonstop fun and entertainment with appeal to all ages.

The 55th annual Fiesta begins at 9 a.m. Saturday and runs through midnight at Bob Bowers Civic Center. Tickets are $15 for adults, $20 after 5 p.m.

Seniors and students are $10, and children 3 and under get in free.

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Mexican Heritage Society of Port Arthur President

Zulema Escobedo has worked to rebuild the event after attendance dwindled due to the pandemic.

This led to the Mexican Heritage Society’s board and Escobedo coming up with new events and more modern music coupled with traditional events.

Escobedo’s daughter, Elaina, is sponsoring loteria, which is a bingo type game. Prizes are piñatas that represent the bingo tile; the largest one is about 6-foot by 6-foot in size.

Escobedo said they have a limit to the number of players.

Loteria is from 3 to 3:30 p.m.

Escobedo wanted to bring in local talent along with other musical artists so from 8 to 8:30 p.m. professional mariachi singer Boris is performing with the Bob Hope Mariachi Band.

“We wanted to implement locals, not just others so I mixed it up. I brought the Bob Hope Mariachi Band to perform with a professional singer,” she said.

The Bob Hope Mariachi was established in 2021 and is instructed by Kathleen Odom, according to information from the school.

Odom is the piano and strings instructor for the high school, and the band was started at the request of Superintendent Dr. Bobby Lopez.

“The Mariachi has grown in number since it started and has been able to purchase authentic instruments for their use,” according to the school. “The group is very busy during the month of September with performances in the community at various business and education locations. This year’s performance will be the group’s third year in a row to perform at the Hispanic Heritage Festival.”

There will be a special performance by students Luis Sosa on accordion and Thomas Camargo on bajo quinto. They will perform various instrumental pieces as well as Flor de capomo, De Colores and Cielito Lindo.

The Bob Hope Mariachi Band will perform at the Fiesta. (Courtesy photo)

Other new additions

• Boxing is big in Mexico, she said, and four local boxers will be honored for their wins in a recent tournament. This is from 7:45 to 8 p.m.

• A Makeup Expo Show is from 10:30 to 10:45 a.m. Four locals will be recognized for their wins in a recent makeup show.

• Live music is a big draw, and this year there is something for everyone.

The last band of the night, DJ and Lyon Muse, is set to appeal to the younger crowd, Escobedo said.

The event also features Massore.

• State Rep. Christian Manuel will present the newly established Friend of Fiesta Award, an honor Escobedo plans to continue in the future.

• Alumni folkloric dancers will perform as well as the newly formed baby group with ages 3-4.


The Fiesta has always had vendors but this year there will be double the number.

“Normally we have 20, now we have 40,” Escobedo said.

There will be food vendors with tamales, tacos and desserts and others will have a variety of art, jewelry and clothes.

There will also be the Miss Mexican Heritage Pageant, Folkloric dancers and more.