September Get-Away: Sedona's 37th Fiesta del Tlaquepaque

Every September for 37 years, visitors from Phoenix and all over the Southwest have headed to Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village in Sedona for a late summer weekend getaway.

Why? To attend one Sedona's signature events: the family-friendly Fiesta del Tlaquepaque, celebrating Mexican Independence Day with music, dance, food and fun activities for kids. The free event, open to the public, takes place Saturday, September 11, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Tlaquepaque, the charming Mexican-style village, will be reverberating with the music of Mexico, Latin America, strolling Mariachis and the fiery heart-pounding dances and songs of Mosaico Flamenco. Returning year after year, Mosaico presents the musical mastery and influences of Spain and South America to thunderous applause after every number.

New to Fiesta is contemporary international Latin singer, Marissa Macias and Un Amor. Influenced by modern Latin Pop music, Marissa Machias' singing style is described as edgy and powerful, as she captivates her audiences with romantic songs in both English and Spanish. Un Amor, formerly Mosaic Trio, enchants its listeners with the sensuous sounds of South America.

Acoustic guitar, the romance of the saxophone, the sultry sounds of Latin percussion, and the beautiful vocals of Andres Martinez evoke the hypnotic rhythms of Latin America.

Traditional Peruvian dances, in the festive and brightly colored Morenadas and Caporales style, will be performed by newcomer to Tlaquepaque, Shaska, who lives and teaches Belly dance in Sedona.

Another Tlaquepaque Fiesta favorite, Ballet Folklorico, bestows traditional folk dancing. Representing every region of Mexico, this ensemble, comprised of dozens of children and adults in their beautiful customary dress are a whirl of vibrant color and movement, always wowing visitors and locals alike.

With dozens of shops and world-class galleries, the substantial talents of Tlaquepaque artists and craftspeople will be will be plentiful, offering a glimpse into the traditional and present day artistry of Mexico and the Southwest.

"Fiesta is a great time to really celebrate diversity, artistry and spirit of the community," said Wendy Lippman, Tlaquepaque General Manager and Resident Partner. "The influence of Abe Miller, Tlaquepaque's visionary builder and the creator of Fiesta, can still be felt throughout the village almost four decades later."

"Kids love Fiesta, and like years past we have face painting, really cool balloon art, Yo-Yo demonstrations and the mesmerizing talents of Magical Michael Steele...and it's all free," reports Lippman. "And when folks get hungry, traditional Mexican food will be available, as well as a wide choice of cuisines found among Tlaquepaqe's popular dining establishments."

Walking between the colorful courtyards and patios during Fiesta is like time traveling back to Old Mexico. Visitors exclaim that it seems as though Tlaquepaque, meaning the best of everything, has been there for a hundred years.

Tlaquepaque is located at 336 State Route 179 in Sedona. Additional parking during Fiesta is available at the uptown municipal parking lot, services by the free roadrunner shuttle to get and from Tlaquepaque.

For more information about Fiesta, performance times and other events visit: www.tlaq.com, www.ShopTlaq.com for online shopping or call (928) 282-4838.

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