Festival Mexicano, with traditional music, food and dance, takes over Centennial Square this Saturday and Sunday (July 14 and 15). Photo contributed

Festival Mexicano, with traditional music, food and dance, takes over Centennial Square this Saturday and Sunday (July 14 and 15). Photo contributed

Mexican culture comes alive during Festival Mexicano

Free two-day festival happens this weekend in Victoria’s Centennial Square

If you’re looking to do some salsa dancing, listen to mariachi music and enjoy a weekend of great family fun, the 12th annual Festival Mexicano could be just the ticket.

The free, two-day event runs Saturday and Sunday (July 14 and 15) from noon to 5 p.m. in Centennial Square. It features food, music, entertainment and games for kids (including piñatas!). There will also be salsa and merengue dance lessons for people at all levels.

“It’s going to be very colourful, very fun,” said Miguel Espinosa, president with the Mexican Canadian Community Association of Victoria.

On Saturday at 2 p.m. Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and a representative from the Mexican Consulate will announce a partnership with that country’s largest university, Instituto Politécnico Nacional in Mexico City, which has 200,000 students enrolled. The partnership is a formal gesture aimed at paving the way for the City and Greater Victoria post-secondary institutions to propose further projects with the Mexican school.

On Saturday night, the fun continues for adults at the nearby Victoria Events Centre on Broad Street, with more dance lessons and live music from Cuban band, Brisas del Palmar. The dance runs from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. and tickets can be purchased online at victoriaeventcentre.ca for $12, or at the door for $15.

“We want to celebrate our culture and tradition, because we come from such a beautiful country,” Espinosa said. “We just want everybody to come and have fun.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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