100th Mexican Fiesta to Celebrate Mexican Independence


FORT MADISON – The Fort Madison Mexican Fiesta will bring the sound, culture and taste of Mexico to Q Avenue and 34th Street Thursday through Saturday.

Officially established in 1921, the fiesta, which celebrates Mexican independence, is as much about tradition as it is about authentic cuisine, and the festival will, as always, feature the dancers and pageantry of La Fiesta.

Dressed in brightly colored Jalisco dresses, most of the dancers are local tweens and teens who practiced for weeks to get ready.

Of course, each day will have vendors of homemade Mexican food, a carnival, children’s events and cold drinks. The Mariachi group will have to be seen and heard to be appreciated.

“There are 10 food vendors this year and more vendors including one with items from a Mexican orphanage like pottery, dresses, baskets and more,” said Stacey Taylor, spokesperson for the fiesta.

The fiesta was canceled due to COVID-19 in 2020, and unforeseen costs nearly brought this year’s 100th anniversary event to a close.

The city of Fort Madison and several sponsors have mobilized and the festival is here, ready to be a milestone to mark this important milestone.

“I think it’s wonderful. It’s the 100th year and everyone is excited that the party is getting ready and everyone has done a lot of work to make it happen. We are grateful for the donations from the community “Taylor said.

The fun begins at 4 p.m. Thursday with street dance music by Ted Brooks and Bluzillion.

Friday festivities will also open at 4 p.m. with food vendors and a beer garden, followed by a festive invocation and blessing at 4:30 p.m.

Friday at 6 p.m., the traditional Great March with the American and Mexican national anthems, as well as welcoming speeches from Fiesta President Scott Huffman and Fort Madison Mayor Matt Mohrfeld, and there will be a Catholic Mass.

Also featured will be the dancers of La Fiesta Troupe, the music and the coronation of the Mexican Queen and Princess of the Fiesta. There will be catering contests and raffles.

Then at 8 p.m., the Crooked Cactus group from the Quad Cities will keep the party alive until the end of the night with their variety of Mexican music.

The last day of the festival opens at 11 a.m. on Saturday with the carnival, beer garden, and food vendors, and there will be DJ music in the afternoon.

During Saturday’s Great March at 6 p.m., visitors will relive a scaled-down version of Friday’s independence celebration with more hymns and readings. Crooked Cactus will once again provide music for the 8 p.m. street dance.

The Mexican El Grito cry for independence will be at 11 p.m. on Saturday

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