Fiesta del Tlaquepaque

Courtesy photo

THE Roping Reynosos include Tony, Jeremy (age 8) and Anthony Reynoso, all performing traditional Mexican roping in the Plaza De La Fuente.

Commemorating Mexican Independence Day, the anniversary of the proclamation declaring Mexico's independence from Spain, Fiesta del Tlaquepaque has become a cherished annual tradition for visitors young and old.

Events will take place throughout the day with music and entertainment to delight visitors of all ages. From sweeping ballads to lighter fare, the celebration offers a one of a kind experience to participate in the celebration of this historical event.

The day-long festival, "Fiesta de Tlaquepaque," will feature the "Roping Reynosos," the dancers and musicians of Mosaico Flamenco, the vibrant music of Latin jazz violin virtuoso Quetzal Guerrero, the traditional dance ensemble Grupo Folklorico Corazon de Mexico, and the traditional folk music from Latin-America by Nosotros.

There will be numerous demonstrations by artists working in a variety of media. Shop owners will have special demonstrations by artists from throughout the Southwest, including jewelry artists, photographers, sculptors, painters (in a variety of mediums), leather craftsman, and authors, as well as those who create works of art from glass, beads and wreaths.

The entertainment begins at 11 a.m. with a performance by the traditional dance ensemble Grupo Folklorico Corazon de Mexico at the Plaza De La Fuente. They will perform their regional Mexican dances in their colorful hand-made costumes. They also will perform at 2:30 p.m. Observers will delight in the festive sounds and colorful movements these dances provide.

Returning to Tlaquepaque will be the Roping Reynosos, featuring the father, Tony Reynoso, 18-year-old Anthony Reynoso Jr., and 8-year-old Jeremy Reynosos. Tony and Anthony have been performing together for 14 years and Jeremy joined them four years ago. Performing in Plaza De La Fuente at 1 and 4 p.m., the Roping Reynosos perform an exciting show of traditional Mexican rodeo style roping.

Adding to the celebration spirit, fiery flamenco dancers also will perform. Experience this passionate and vibrant Spanish dance to the distinctive sounds of the flamenco guitar.

Mosaico Flamenco will perform original music incorporating guitar, flute, violin and percussion inspired from Spain, Latin America, and the Caribbean from noon to 4 p.m. at the Patio Del Norte. Mosaico Flamenco is made up of a mosaic of musical styles.

Brothers Monte and Max spent hours composing beautiful, tranquil music when they met vocalist Gaetano, who was trained in classical flamenco and influenced by the Gypsy culture. Later, Eric Zang, a Middle Eastern percussionist, and bass player Simon Ames from Lima, Peru joined the trio and they became Mosaico Flamenco.

Nosotros will perform in Plaza Las Campanas from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. They demonstrate a vast repertoire of rhythms, ranging from the mournful to the festive, played on typical indigenous instruments. They perform a variety of tunes from Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Paraguay, Venezuela and Mexico.

Electric violinist and vocalist Quetzal Guerrero will provide high-energy entertainment into the evening, 4:30-7:30 p.m., in Patio Del Norte. A national finalist for American Idol II, Guerrero's audiences enjoy listening and dancing to his music. Guerrero and his band Cascabel will play music that sounds like a Brazilian Carnaval, a blend of hip hop and Latin jazz.

There will be free pony rides for the children from Bay Blue Farm from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the Fiesta. Food will be provided by El Rincon Restaurante Mexicano, Maxfield's Farm and Produce, Secret Garden Cafe and the Oak Creek Brewery and Grill will host a beer garden in Patio del Norte.

Shuttle service will be provided by Sedona Trolley every 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with pick-up and drop-off in the Uptown Municipal Parking Lot at the corner of Schnebly and Sunset. Admission is free.

Additional upcoming events at Tlaquepaque include The Festival of Lights, an event that has become a holiday tradition to many visitors. On Saturday, Dec. 11, 6,000 luminarias will light up Tlaquepaque's courtyards and walkways during this annual event.

The Art and Soul of Sedona, Tlaquepaque is the home to more than 40 shops and galleries and four restaurants, visited by more than 1 million tourists each year. For more information, contact Tlaquepaque at (928) 282-4838 or http://www.tlaq.com

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