Lansing’s largest event celebrating Latinos returns for Memorial Day weekend

Mid-Michigan’s largest event for Latinos is returning this weekend with in-person festivities.

After hosting the Cristo Rey Fiesta as a drive-thru celebration for the last two years, organizer Guillermo Zamora says he’s thrilled for a more typical event.

“We’re trying to get back to whatever normal is, and this is one way of going back to normal to the extent that we can. So hopefully, it’s a reprieve for everybody that’s been cooped up at home with all this pandemic. It’s affected many people,” he said.

For more than four decades, the annual event has brought together people with local music, food and dance from across the Latino community.

“Hopefully, this is something that people can say ‘Well, we’re kind of at the at the end of the tunnel.’ You can see light at the end of the tunnel and feel that way, feel good about it,” Zamora explained.

The event serves as Cristo Rey Community Center’s largest fundraiser for the year with most of the proceeds going to education programs, food banks, health services and health education.

The fiesta will feature a taco contest on Friday and a shouting contest on Saturday which honors the call that was said to have started the Mexican Revolution in 1810.

“Through the weekend, we are expecting between 10,000 to 15,000 people,” Zamora said.

On Sunday, participants can expect a recognition of Latino veterans in the region.

“At 1, after Mass, we’ll have a special ceremony to veterans. So, we invite all veterans that are in the area to come and join us for that salute,” he added.

The Fiesta runs through Sunday evening in the parking lot of Cristo Rey Church. After 5 pm, there is a $5 entrance fee. Attendees under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.

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