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Hispanic Heritage Month in Las Vegas: Ways to Celebrate

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Hispanic Heritage Month runs September 15 to October 15 and offers the opportunity to expose your family to the many cultures that make up the Hispanic experience. Considering the significant impact Latinos, ans since I am a Vegas blog, have had on the Las Vegas valley, celebrating Hispanic Heritage seems like a great time to learn more about the birth of our home.

Hispanic Heritage Month, Vegas Blog, Vegas Family

The name of our city, Las Vegas, is Spanish for the meadows and harps back to the early 1800’s when a trade caravan led by Mexican merchants set up camp to resupply before embarking on their final destination in California. Like much of this part of the country, Las Vegas was a territory of Mexico back then. Las Vegas has its own unique story of birth and growth, including the Mormon trail, railroad construction, the Hoover Dam and, of course, the beginning of what Vegas is now known for: casinos.

However, unfortunately, it seems to me that the acknowledgement of the Hispanic influence in Las Vegas history, in addition to its large Latino population that calls Vegas home, goes largely unnoticed by mainstream. More celebratory events are popping up around the valley, in addition to better organizing, but the reach of these events should embrace everyone that calls Las Vegas home, not just other Hispanics. You better believe this Vegas blog will be making them known! I truly believe that bringing communities together for cultural experience and appreciation is important in creating a tolerant and engaged populace.

So, let’s celebrate!

Here are a few ideas on how to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Las Vegas:

September Events with a Vegas Blog!

Celebration for Hispanic Heritage Month in Las Vegas was front loaded this year 2012, with the biggest events occurring in September. The weekend of September 15th brought the biggest Latino parade and festival to Downtown at Fremont Street…

Hispanic Heritage Month, Vegas Blog, Vegas Family

Fiesta Las Vegas Latino Parade & Festival
In only its second year of existence, The Fiesta Latino Parade & Festival is proving to be one of the biggest celebrations for Hispanic Heritage Months in the valley. Get a sample of the culture and traditions from many Latin American countries with a lively parade and festival held Downtown on Fremont Street. We missed the parade this year, but it is definetly on my radar for next year!

Las Vegas Clark County Library District – Youth Programs
Whether it be for Hispanic Heritage Month or any other cultural celebration, I always utilize our local library’s youth program to celebrate. Come together with other parents and young children to enjoy stories and crafts specifc to the celebration. We’ve enjoyed several events since the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, right here at our Las Vegas Library. Over the weekend, Alina was among the few Latino children at a storytime event, and was proud to show off the Spanish words she knows.


More Las Vegas Events

Mariachi Concert in Celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month
Friday, October 12, 7 p.m.
Main Theater, Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Rd., Las Vegas
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with an evening of mariachi favorites performed by the talented young musicians of Mariachi Music Instructional Program. You’ll be sure to see us there!

Hispanic International Parade
Saturday, October 13; Parade at 10 a.m., Festival from 12 p.m.-7 p.m.
Henderson Events Plaza, 200 S. Water Street. Admission is complimentary. Although far from our home, we are hoping to make this parade as it is the first Hispanic Heritage parade in Las Vegas, beginning in 2005.

Other ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Las Vegas

Celebrate with Food Culture
Can’t attend an event? Celebrate by trying a Latino restaurant! I would say most Americans know and enjoy the wonderful tastes of Mexican cuisine, but in celebration of  Hispanic Heritage month, why not try the flavors of less popular Hispanic cuisine? Since I’m Cuban, I lean towards the smoky flavors of my childhood and family when considering dinner out on the town. Havana Grill Cuban Cuisine  is our favorite Cuban restaurant in the Las Vegas Valley. There are amazing restaurants that specialize in other flavors of Latin America… go out and try them!

Hispanic Heritage Month, Vegas Blog, Vegas Family

If you are looking for a few Cuban Recipes to make at home instead, feel free to check out my very Americanized versions of Cuban Picadillo recipe, Cuban Black Beans recipe and Chili Relleno recipe. Don’t be afraid, I’m not an amazing cook – this should just be about incorporating new flavors and spices into your meal. Cook up a yummy Latino meal, listen to some salsa music and have your own Hispanic Heritage Month at home!

Hispanic Heritage Month, Vegas Blog, Vegas Family

Embrace Bilingualism
True bilingual and Spanish language immersion programs for children is something else I find lacking in Las Vegas {if you know of one, please email me!}, but that doesn’t mean Las Vegas shouldn’t embrace the world of bilingual learning. As a monthly contributor to SpanglishBaby, I pour my heart out about bicultural identity, my lack of fluency and efforts at exposing Alina and Sebastian to my family’s native language. There are a ton of resources out there for parents who embrace bilingualism at home.

Hispanic Heritage Month is not the celebration of being Hispanic – in my opinion, it is about learning, appreciating and embracing the Hispanic culture as something that is noteworthy and influential in your life. And as a community, the Hispanic experience is highly relevant to the past, present and future of the Las Vegas Valley. I hope you join my family as we travel around Las Vegas celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.

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