It’s time for the annual Blessed Sacrament Church Fiesta, when great music, food, friends and fun blend together to create a pleasant day flowing into an exciting evening. Which is as true as it has been, year after year, sometimes with the help of the weather and sometimes in spite of it.
People come from all over the Copper Corridor to attend this event, which commemorates the ringing of church bell by Roman Catholic Priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla on Sept. 16, 1810, which began the call to arms that began the Mexican War of Independence. This happened in the town of Dolores in the state of Guanajuato.
In October 1825 this day became known as Mexican Independence Day, While the exact words and give or take between Hildago and the crowd during the Grito de Dolores (Cry of Dolores) are a matter of debate, the spirit of the message was an opposition to bad government and a call to adhere to their faith. This cry of independence has become an integral part of the celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day.
On the night of Sept. 15, at 11 p.m., the President of Mexico rings the very same bell, but, from the National Palace in Mexico City. After each ringing of the bell, he then repeats a cry of patriotism based on the Grito de Dolores, known as a Grito Mexicano. This will include the names of important heroes of the Mexican War of Independence who were present during the original bell ringing and end with the threefold shout of “Viva, Mexico!”.
The following day is Fiesta Patrias (Patriot Festival), also known as Independence Day in Mexico, and is marked by parades, patriotic programs, marching bands, concerts and other outpourings of celebratory patriotism and community fellowship. This is also celebrated in the United States of America, in areas with large populations of persons with Mexican heritage.
In the Town of Mammoth and the surrounding Tri-Community, the celebration has been an annual event for a very long time. Sometimes, it was large and impressive, with delegates visiting from the Mexican Consulate, and other times the celebrations were more modest in scope. Regardless of size or impressive title of visitors, it is an event that brings people in the community closer to each other and reminds of the importance of human dignity.
This year, the Blessed Sacrament Parish Fiesta will be held on Saturday, Sept. 23, at 122 W. Church Dr., Highway 77 in Mammoth. It will start with a 2 p.m. Mass, followed by Joe Arbizo and Conjunto from 3 p.m. through 4:30 p.m. Ballet Folklorico Del Sol will perform from 4:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. The Mariachis Corazon de Tucson will perform from 6 p.m. through 8 p.m. and, finally, from 8 p.m. through midnight, Britney y Su Conjunto will round out the performances. All are invited to attend.