The kickoff of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) coincides with Mexican Independence Day, and events throughout the Bay area are celebrating Latin culture.
Many think Mexican’s most important national holiday is Cinco de Mayo, but it’s actually Sept. 16, when El Grito, “the shout” for independence, heralded the revolt against Spain in 1810. Casa Tina, our favorite Dunedin Mexican-Vegetarian restaurant, celebrates with specials, cirque performances and mojigangas — the giant puppets that visit during Day of the Dead — and Trio Zaino Huasteco, a Mexican folk group Hidalgo, Mexico — the town’s namesake, Father Miguel Hidalgo, gave the famous shout, and Casa Tina owner Javier Avila will re-enact it at the event at 9 p.m. Co-owner and restaurant namesake Tina Avila says she will be dressed as as a China poblana and invites guests to come as their favorite Latin characters to receive a free margarita after 8 p.m. (Event begins at 5 p.m. at 365 Main St., Dunedin. casatinas.com.)
Another El Grito fiesta takes place at Los Dos Plebes Night Club, which throws down with live Latin bands, DJs and prizes. (5-8 p.m. at 14042 66th St N. Find out more at facebook.com/losdosplebes727). —JG
The Tampa Museum of Art Family Day, on Sun., Sept. 15, commemorates Hispanic Heritage Month and the last day of the Museum’s current exhibitions Faded Elegance: Photographs of Havana by Michael Eastman and Miradas: Ancient Roots in Modern and Contemporary Mexican Art, Works from the Bank of America Collection. The free event offers live entertainment throughout the day, ArtSPot hands-on children’s art activities, scavenger hunts, docent guided tour, free gelato tastings for children, specialty food and drinks from SonoCafe and more. (11 a.m.-5 p.m., Curtis Hixon Park, downtown Tampa, tampamuseum.org).
A celebration of Nuestra Independencia y Herencia Hispaña is an authentic immigrant fiesta with folkloric dances, music, Latin food, information and free legal counseling, art and door prizes. (2-5 p.m., SouthShore Regional Library, 15816 Beth Shields Way, Ruskin, ficsinc.org).
Tarpon Springs Center for Gulf Coast Folklife opens an exhibit of Latin American Folk Culture in Florida on Sept. 20. The exhibition begins with a reception on Friday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. that includes a performance by Trio Amistad Huasteco from Clearwater. (Sept. 20-Nov. 30, Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., 101 S. Pinellas Ave., tarponarts.org).
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