September 7, 2007

Fiestas Patrias in Tijuana: No comparison!

By Pablo Jaime Sáinz

Although there are going to be several events in San Diego that will celebrate Mexican Independence Day, there’s nothing better than celebrating that historic day in Tijuana.

There, on the night of September 15, you can get a true experience of El Grito, the ceremony where Mayor Kurt Honold will perform the traditional reenactment of the beginning of Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1810.

This year Mexico will celebrate its 197 anniversary of independence.

In the official Grito ceremony, which will be held at the Palacio Municipal (City Hall), there will be banda sinaloense music by El Coyote y su Banda Tierra Santa starting at 7 p.m.

In addition to El Coyote, Banda Agua Caliente, Mariachi Monarcas, norteño band Los Sentenciados will perform.

If you’re looking for a typical Independence Day fiesta, this is the place to be, because the verbena popular will offer all the traditional smells, tastes, and colors of this important date: antojitos mexicanos, firecrackers, ballet folklorico, and carnival rides.

This free event attracts thousands of people from every corner in Tijuana.

In addition, on September 15 each delegación, or city district, will host its own Fiestas Patrias celebration. Usually, the delegado, or district representative, is the one who leads the ceremony in each area.

Many of the celebrations are smaller versions of the Palacio Municipal event. To learn more about the different events in Tijuana, visit the official city webpage at www.tijuana.gob. mx.

If you prefer to have some fun before Sept. 15, Tijuana’s Feria de las Californias offers a lot for a little. The traditional fair, held this year at Parque Morelos, is the biggest celebration of Mexican Independence in the city.

The festivities kicked off last month, and fairgoers will be able to enjoy concerts, comedy shows, and all-you-can-ride carnival rides, all for $8 or less.

The Teatro del Pueblo, for example, offers concerts and comedy shows included in the admission price.

On stage, local talent rubs shoulders with more widely known talent, such as Tejanos Kumbia All Starz (September 7) and rockers Moderatto (September 13).

Organizers said they always try to bring artists that are popular in the city. Whatever people prefer, that’s the artists they’ll get.

For people who’d rather get their thrills on carnival rides, tickets to almost all of the attractions will be included with the general admission price. But if you want to see artists such as banda singer El Flaco Elizalde (September 7) and roquera Alejandra Guzmán (September 13) in a more intimate setting, you can spend another $15 to $65 for a ticket to the Palenque stage.

The biggest concert of the season will be with Los Jefes de Jefes, Los Tigres del Norte, on the night of September 15, at el Palenque.

There, the norteño idols will celebrate Mexican Independence Day performing some of their most popular songs, perhaps even including their tribute to ranchera music, “Potpurri mexicano,” which features several songs that are classic, such as “México, lindo y querido.”

All of the Palenque concerts include cockfighting, giving the event a true Mexican fiesta flavor, like the ones they do in Southern Mexico. Cockfights begin at 8 p.m. but don’t expect the artists to start performing until around midnight. That’s the traditional Palenque experience.

The profits generated by the fair will go toward the construction of the interactive children’s museum Museo del Trompo de Tijuana. Eight dollars doesn’t buy much these days. But at the Feria de las Californias, it can buy you a ticket to fun.

A complete schedule of concerts with directions on how to get there are available at

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