Downtown Hayward hosted their 12th Mariachi Festival on Sep. 29 in honor of Hispanic Heritage month. This family affair brought traditional dances, music, and overall spirit to warm the hearts of Bay Area attendees.
The festival paid particular homage to Mexico’s Independence Day, Sep. 16, as it connects to a large number of the community’s heritage.
Three Mariachi bands performed, with Mariachi Mi Tiera Linda giving tribute to the late Mexican musician Vicente Fernandez who passed on Dec. 21, 2021. The band performed Fernandez’s cover of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” singing both in English and Spanish. This song is famously associated with Fernandez and his overall impact on the world of Mariachi.
Young students also performed baile folklórico dances in their brightly colored traditional Mexican dresses. These dances are a mixture of Indigenous, African, and Spanish cultures, with heavy detail in footwork, facial expressions, and particular movements in the long flowy skirts.
Davida Scott, a teacher at Hayward Adult School, wanted to give back to the young generation of students with a backpack drive at the event. Scott is the founder of Raising Leaders, a series of workshops focusing on “employability skills, financial awareness, career exploration, and educational opportunities.” The California Teachers Association stated on cta.org.
This particular workshop was a student drive that consisted of 100 free backpacks, school supplies, and dental hygiene kits that Alameda County Supervisor Richard Valle funded.
The event lasted until nine p.m., with the crowds reluctant to leave. City Councilmember Francisco Zermeño, who hosted the event, thanked everyone in attendance.