With colorful dances and delectable dishes, Bowling Green’s Mexican community will offer a taste of the country’s traditions and culture this weekend through a Mexican Independence Day celebration.

Between noon and 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, the Regional Alliance of Students and Professionals will hold its biannual Fiestaval at 1200 Clay St. Admission is free.

RASP, which was founded through the church La Luz del Mundo, holds celebrations each year to honor Mexico’s independence on Sept. 16, 1810, and for Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates an important Mexican victory over French occupation in 1862.

“We just want people to come and enjoy themselves and learn a little about our culture and our heritage,” event organizer Anita Parra said.

Vendors will accept card or cash payments for traditional Mexican dishes.

“We will have real authentic Mexican food! None of that restaurant ‘authentic food,’ ” the event’s website said.

Additionally, native dances will be on full display. A few of them include jalisco, which is paired with the country’s iconic mariachi music, and the las adelitas, a dance influenced by Mexican women who participated in the conflict of the Mexican Revolution. Popular Mexican party games, such as musical chairs, will also be played during the Fiestaval.

The event grew out of the success of traditional dance demonstrations and booths selling cultural merchandise at the annual Bowling Green International Festival.

However, the celebration will commemorate more than just Mexican heritage, as September is Hispanic Heritage Month. Many countries across Latin America and South America celebrate their independence days in September, Parra said.

“We hold it to bring our communities together,” Parra said. “We wanted to have basically a big party for everyone to come and enjoy themselves.”

– More information is available at bgfiestaval.com.

– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @BGDN_edbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.

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Education reporter. Covers education and related issues, focusing primarily on the Bowling Green and Warren County public school districts and Western Kentucky University.

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