This article was written by BenitoLink reporter intern Juliana Luna
On Sept. 16, Hollister celebrated Mexican Independence Day. According to History.com, the day signifies “El Grito de Dolores,” which called for the end of Spanish rule over Mexico.
The Hollister event began at 5:30 p.m outside the Veterans Memorial Building on San Benito Street. About 90 people attended the celebration and for safety’s sake there were several security guards and police officers present.
Folklorico dancers Mariachi Juvenil Corazón Jalisciense and Mariachi Mexico performed.
Among the celebrants, many women and young children wore traditional Mexican floral shirts. Several Mexican flags surrounded a stand. Inside, raffle tickets were available to the public. The prizes were gift cards to local businesses. Councilmember Rick Perez said the raffle was intended “to bring people downtown and get familiar with a local business. It’s a win/win situation.”
San Benito County Supervisor Bea Gonzales purchased 288 ice cream bars to give out to kids. In addition, Perez gave out “I love Hollister” pins. He said his mission was to bring everyone together.
“Everyone knows Hollister is special, and to remember our common ground. In this community, we are one,” Perez said.
On the other side of the road , there were food stands, a beer bar and a photo booth that was open to the public.
Maria Mendez, 70, of Hollister, came over for the celebration. She said she enjoyed all the performances and noted that she was a folklorico dancer when she was 10.
Celeste Toledo-Bocanegra, a volunteer, said, “It’s important to celebrate any cultural event.”
Two of the young folklorico dancers commented, “Today we celebrate Mexico’s independence because it’s like Fourth of July.”
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