PUBLISHED SEPT. 15, 2106
By LOIS KINDLE
To commemorate Mexican Independence Day, the Ruskin Community Development Foundation has organized a celebratory event for the entire Hispanic community. Sponsored by the RJS Law Group, the Festival de La Independencia will take place from noon to 9 p.m., Sept. 17 at E.G. Simmons Park, 2401 19th Ave. N.W., Ruskin.
“It’s not only for the Mexican community,” said Joe Zuniga, chairman of the festival committee and an event performer. “Everyone is invited to what we hope will become an annual event. Anyone who wants to experience Mexican culture and great food, music and dance will have a great time.”
This fundraiser for RCDF will be jam-packed with popular Mexican singing groups, solo performers and dancers. It will also feature authentic Mexican foods, including tacos, tamales and burritos. There will also be Cuban, Puerto Rican and Dominican foods, as well as burgers, hot dogs and beer.
Automobile enthusiasts will enjoy a car show open to anyone in the area with a classic or custom vehicle. Trophies will be awarded for the 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd- place finishers. If you’re interested in entering your car or need more information, call Juan Garcia at 813-418-0255.
“The idea behind this event is to honor the people who worked so hard in the fields and helped make this area an agricultural success,” said Sandy Council, president of RCDF. “There are so many who put down their roots here and are now professionals and business owners giving back to their community in a different way.”
Headlining the event are internationally known singers Grupo Mujado and award-winning soloist Zuniga, who sings regional Mexican, Latin and country music. He is releasing his latest CD, “Amor de Verdad,” over the weekend and will perform selections from it at the festival.
Other performers will include Grupo Tranqilo; solo artist Stephanie Rios; Christian artists Avivameniento and Ministerio La Red; the Mariachi Loco band; and dance teams OLG, a cultural group from Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church; Mexican folkloric dancers Mahetzi; and Hazard Styles Fresh, a hip hop group.
The festival emcee will be La Ley radio personality Karina Sanchez of 1550 AM, who will be assisted by Eli Aguilar, formerly with La Mexicana radio station 96.1 FM. DJs Junior Salazar, Tavo and Benny Boy will also be on hand.
Admission is $25 per person at the door. Children 12 and younger and parking are free. There is a $2 per car entry fee to the park.
Other event sponsors include Centro Legal de Aguas Claras, Estrella TV Tampa Bay, Mattos Medical Group and Garcia’s Bakery; HCC SouthShore, Re/Max Realty and Century 21 Beggins Enterprises; Ryan Homes, CalAtlantic Homes, Fifth Third Bank and Riverview Fresh Market; MeTV, National Cremation Society, Fun Photo Rentals and State Farm Insurance Mark Rossmiller; and Fuze, Tortilleria el Claro, Total Automotive Services and Neon Energy Drink.
Mexican Independence Day is celebrated in Mexico every year on Sept. 16 with parades, feasts, festivals and other forms of revelry. It is observed to commemorate the beginning of Mexico’s revolt against Spanish rule, an event that eventually led to the nation’s independence.