Thanks to some radio stations up north, thousands of people showed up in Mossyrock on Saturday, Sept. 16, for the city’s second annual Mexican Independence Day celebration, Mossyrock Mayor Randall Sasser told The Chronicle.
“The very first people that came to the festival were from Tacoma,” Sasser said on Monday.
La Radio De Seattle, which includes the radio station La Grand 99.3 FM among others, let residents in the Tacoma and Seattle areas know about the celebration in Mossyrock.
“This being our second year, it was much better than last year,” Sasser said. “Of course, like anything, there’s always room for improvement.”
Sasser explained while the event was held to celebrate Mexican Independence Day, it was also meant to bring people of all backgrounds together.
“Like any event, it isn’t about the event, it’s about people getting connected with one another,” Sasser said. “I believe that’s what we need to have, is people understanding each other and just communicating with each other. Having events like this, no matter what it is, is a good way to bring people together, no matter what their views are.”
And although dry conditions prevented a fireworks show as was held last year during Mossyrock’s first Mexican Independence Day celebration, there was no shortage of entertainment.
The day began in the morning with children’s bike races down West Main Street in downtown Mossyrock, where kids competed in sprint races on their bikes for free pizza certificates from Uptown Pizza.
At noon, a parade proceeded down East State Street in downtown Mossyrock.
It included many local businesses such as West On Wheels and Nacho’s Mexican Restaurant, along with fire trucks from Lewis County Fire District 3, the Mossyrock Garden Club, a campaign float for U.S. Congressional candidate Joe Kent, dancing horses from Rancho MC in Kent and music performed by Mariachi Ayutla band from Tacoma.
Following the parade, festival attendees flocked to Klickitat Prairie Park just south of downtown where nearly 30 vendors were set up. Whether attendees wanted tamales or tacos, there was no shortage of traditional Mexican cuisine available.
Throughout the day at the park, dancing horses performed along with Mariachi Ayutla. There were also inflatable obstacle courses set up for children along with other games, including a greased pole-climb challenge.
Once the sun began to set, DJ Escandalo Zona Orienta played music into the night while attendees danced into the night.
As for next year’s Mexican Independence Day celebration, Sasser mentioned those in charge of organizing it are aiming to get Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC) funding from Lewis County.
“The Garcias, Margarita and Margarito, they will actually be doing the presentation in front of the LTAC Board for money next year,” Sasser said.
While it is a common misconception that Cinco de Mayo is the Mexican Independence Day, that holiday actually celebrates Mexico’s victory over the second French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
Mexico celebrates its Independence Day on Sept. 16 because that’s the day in 1810 when a Catholic priest named Miguel Hidalgo gave an impassioned speech to a large congregation made up of indigenous and mestizo people at the Dolores Parish Church in Guanajuato, Mexico.
The speech is known as Grito de Dolores, meaning the Cry of Dolores, and it ended up being the spark of the eventual 11-year-long Mexican War of Independence.
Mossyrock’s population, last counted at 739 people, is 34 percent Hispanic, more than double that of the state of Washington as a whole, according to the U.S. Census.