Mar 12th, 2003 @ 6:09 pm | Author:
You are invited to a Fiesta! Valley City State University, the Valley City Chamber / Valley City Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and the City of Valley City are pleased to announce that plans for Fiesta Mexicana 2003 are underway. During September 25, 26, and 27, 2003 the City Auditorium will play host to the biggest Fiesta Mexicana so far. Approximately 100 Mexican dancers, artisans, government officials, and university representatives representing the communities of Oaxaca and LaPaz are expected to participate.
Fiesta Web Site
Event organizers, Ray Morrell, Jan Stowman, and Kay Kringlie began preliminary planning during the summer of 2002. Professor Kringlie continued the planning process during her trip to Mexico in October. While in Oaxaca and LaPaz Kringlie met with many prospective artisans as well as government and university representatives.
Of particular interest is the Ballet Folklorico de La Paz, the dance company that has performed at the two previous Fiestas. Professor Marco Antonio Ojeda will once again bring his group to Valley City. Both he and his dancers said they are pleased and excited to be invited to Valley City for another Fiesta. The 2003 performances will include approximately 25 dancers as well as a variety of dances and costumes. The dance company, created by Ojeda 29 years ago, is made up of young adults, primarily university students from the Instituto Tecnol’gico in LaPaz. They will once again be accompanied by the band, "La Cochi con Levais". This group of young men specializes in regional music but also includes a great variety of Mexican folk music in its repertoire. When the Ballet Folklorico performs in Valley City, they will be celebrating their 30th anniversary. Their high-energy performances have thrilled audiences in Valley City twice before, and Fiesta organizers couldn’t be more pleased to host this troupe again.
During her recent trip to Mexico, Professor Kringlie also visited with several artisans, including Mariana Morga Ortega, who specializes in black pottery; Guillermo and Sandra Aragon, who use an age old process to create exquisitely decorated knives; and Elpidio Fabian Ojeda, whose artistic talents are reflected in his elegantly painted, hand carved "alebrijes". Each of these artisans has attended earlier Fiestas, and each is looking forward to returning to Valley City. The artisans represent unique contributions to the Fiesta as well as unique parts of Oaxacan culture.
Fiesta organizers are particularly excited about the possibility of performances from a Guelagetza dance group from Oaxaca. The Guelagetza, traditionally held in Oaxaca in June, is a collection of dances representing the seven distinct regions of Oaxaca. Each dance and set of costumes reflects the unique cultures of these peoples. Oaxaca, located in the convergence of three mountain ranges south of Mexico City, is home to many indigenous peoples. Fiesta organizers say that the addition of the Guelagetza to Fiesta Mexicana 2003 would indeed be a unique and valuable opportunity for the people of the region to experience yet another aspect of Oaxacan culture.
Since Fiesta Mexicana 1999, the event has continued to grow and develop. As a result, more Mexican visitors than ever before are expected for this year’s event. While organizers admit that planning and hosting such an event is challenging, the rewards are invaluable. The friendships and cultural exchanges developed as a result of the Fiestas continue to promote acceptance, appreciation, and friendship among the citizens of North Dakota and the citizens of Mexico.
Fiesta organizers will meet to explore planning ideas on January 16, 2003, at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Center on the VCSU campus.
Mark your calendars! Fiesta Mexicana 2003 will be held in the City Auditorium September 25, 26, and 27, 2003.