The event on Saturday September 15, 2018  has been cancelled

                                                                            FIESTAS PATRIAS OF AUSTIN

The annual music event that the Hispanic community has been waiting for all summer is coming. Fiestas Patrias of Austin will present the 40th annual Hispanic Heritage festival to be held on Saturday September 15, 2018 at Fiesta Gardens Park under the Johnny Degollado pavilion. Once again, the festival will include musical groups, ballet folklorico dancers, mariachis, food and non-food vendors throughout the day as doors will open at noon until 10:00 p.m.
     Long time residents of Austin will recall that the celebration of our culture was held at Parque Zaragosa in East Austin. There are many residents of the Austin community that can tell many stories of fond memories of those past celebrations at Parque Zaragosa. Past events at Parque Zaragosa included musical headliners of that era to include Alfonso Ramos, Manuel “Cowboy” Donley, Augustine Ramirez and many other great artists of this era. Eventually, the events celebrating Hispanic Heritage at Parque Zaragosa ceased to exist with the community having to go outside of East Austin to surrounding communities to celebrate the Diez y Seis de Septiembre festivities.  
     Mr. Gilbert Velasquez of the renowned Velasquez family is the founder of Fiestas Patrias of Austin in 1978. Fiestas Patrias of Austin is a non-profit 501 (3) (c) organization. In the late 1970’s, Mr. Velasquez saw a need in the Mexican-American community to begin an annual event to celebrate the Diez y Seis de Septiembre celebration. Gilbert began the festival as a private venture to resurrect the annual tradition of celebrating the culture, history, and traditions again in East Austin. Eventually, the application for non-profit status was approved by the State of Texas and the I.R.S. to receive support from the corporate community and assist in funding the events.
   Today, the tradition continues with some of the best Tejano and Conjunto bands of our time. Favorites such as Yayo Castillo & Rumores, Big Band Tejano, Gary Hobbs, the late Jimmy Gonzalez of Grupo MAZZ, Jay Perez, A.J. Castillo, the late Ruben Naranjo plus many many more artists that have performed for Fiestas Patrias of Austin at Fiesta Gardens.
   The goals of the organization are to preserve and promote the Mexican-American culture through festivals, to provide funding for scholarships, youth and community programs. The organization under the leadership and direction of Mr. Velasquez has had tremendous success in meeting its annual goals. 
    One event that was important and demonstrated the spirit of giving and sharing our success with the community was the annual community Thanksgiving Dinner. From 1994 to 2016 the organization coordinated a free event that include a complete Thanksgiving Dinner with all the trimming on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Each year Fiestas Patrias of Austin in partnership with other organizations would provide approximately 1,000 home-made meals for all who came to the event. A hot meal, entertainment and community fellowship was enjoyed by all in attendance.
     This event and other charitable programs that Fiestas Patrias of Austin has contributed to in past years makes the organization an asset to the community. The citizens of Austin are fortunate to have such a giving organization that serves and benefits all members of the Austin community.
     Through the leadership of Mr. Gilbert Velasquez, the organization has had tremendous success in fulfilling its goals and mission. Mr. Velasquez is assisted by his son Julius Velasquez who handles public relations, public information, logistics, vendor operations and many other tasks related to the planning and execution of this family friendly event. It is through the combined efforts of Gilbert Velasquez, his son Julius Velasquez, mother Doris Velasquez, sisters (Jeanette, Judy, Lisa, and Sharon), grandchildren and the dedicate team of Fiestas Patrias volunteers who for the last forty years have contributed to the success of fifty-two Fiestas Patrias festivals from 1978-2018.
     This year’s event continues to guide Fiestas Patrias of Austin on its mission to share our Tejano way of life with non-Hispanics. Event organizer Julius Velasquez says, “We are able to extend our culture beyond barriers and showcase our food, music, song and dance that has been enjoyed by many generations of Austinites and can be shared with all that attend this yearly event. The events that Fiestas Patrias organizes brings family and friends together in East Austin where changes to the neighborhood that was once predominately Mexican-American is changing into a melting pot of newcomers moving into East Austin.” 
    For a complete list of the entertainment lineup and vendor both applications and rules visit the Fiestas Patrias website www.diezyseis.org. For any specific questions contact Julius Velasquez at julius@diezyseis.org.