Celebrating Safely in a Pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic has been an unprecedented and tragic event in our country. In particular, it has had a disproportionate impact on the Latinx community (see here, for example).For all of these reasons, it is even more important that we find safe and responsible ways to celebrate the hispanic heritage and culture of the Tri-Cities area during Hispanic Heritage Month this year.

The Fiesta is now an offering of a new organization, the Tri-Cities Puentes Initiative (find out more online here) and will be be a week-long fiesta from Monday, September 21 – Saturday, September 26. While maintaining social distancing, following all local, state, and federal guidelines, we will still highlight Latin American cultures in all their rich variety. We will pay tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society—particularly the Tri-Cities area!

We’re going to build the momentum from last year’s smashing success—even though we are in the midst of a pandemic—by five different types of safe, socially-distanced celebration:

  • Hispanic Heritage Restaurant Week – Restaurants in the Tri-Cities are invited to participate in a special restaurant week from Monday, September 21 – Saturday, September 26. Each restaurant will choose a country whose cuisine they want to showcase with a special appetizer, entrée, dessert, and drink. Each participating restaurant will donate a percentage of sales (at the restaurant’s choice) of the food to the TCPI. Whichever restaurant generated the most donations for TCPI will be crowned the 2020 Hispanic / Latinx Cuisine winner and highlighted in our media posts and communications. The form for a restaurant to sign-up for a country will come live soon!
  • Hispanic Heritage Food Truck Weekend – Saturday, September 26, we will invite food trucks that prepare Latin American and/or Hispanic Food to sign-up for pre-arranged spots throughout the Tri-Cities from 11am – 10pm. We’ll have a map available for what will be the most satisfying scavenger food hunt you’ve ever been on!
  • Hispanic Heritage Film Festival – Each night, from Monday, September 21 – Saturday, September 26, the TCPI will highlight a film of relevance to Latinx history and culture. Families, individuals, and small groups will be invited to watch the film at home and then, if they wish, participate in a Zoom discussion on the film at 8pm each night, led by a member of TCPI or a community leader.
  • Hispanic Heritage Virtual Mercado – West Michigan businesses owned by members of the Hispanic community, along with organizations which serve the Hispanic community, will be invited to make a donation of their own choosing to the work of TCPI and, in response, to receive a spot in the Hispanic Heritage Virtual Mercado. Videos highlighting each individual vendor and links to the vendor’s website will be highlighted on the TCPI website and also on a schedule of social media posts throughout Hispanic Heritage Month.
  • Virtual Dance Night – Each night during the week we will post a short video(s) with a teaching on a Latin American dance routine. People will be invited to participate in their own homes and learn some great traditional Latin American dances.

We hope you will join us for what we hope will be an exciting time celebrating the hispanic heritage and culture of our area!

Presented by the Tri-Cities Puentes Initiative, in partnership with..

Find out more...

Click here to download the Sponsorship Letter and application!

Click here to find out how your restaurant can adopt a country for Hispanic Restaurant Week!

Click here to find out more about being a Food Truck  Vendor!

Click here to see the schedule of films and Zoom hosts for the Film Festival!

Click here to find out more about having a booth in our Virtual Mercado!

Click here to get the schedule for the Virtual Dance Party!