Aztec celebration March 15

Canadian Pacific Railroad’s Pig’s Eye switching yard is a major shipping hub for the company. Noise and fumes from the site have irked residents for years. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

The East Side’s Azteca new year celebration has been growing steadily since its modest start four years ago.

Now, with over 500 participants, the event looks to be a bold and unique community event.

Scheduled for Saturday, March 15, the gathering is free and open to the public. It takes place at Johnson Senior High School, 1349 Arcade St., from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The celebration will highlight indigenous cultures through song, dance and drumming, not to mention the free food.

The grassroots event is run solely with community and small-business donations.

Mary Anne Quiroz, one of the festival’s organizers, said the event is like “the community getting together and doing a really, really big potluck.”

In addition to food and dance, there will be other activities including face painting and carnival games.

The event is put on by Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli, an East Side-based traditional Mexica Aztec dance and drum group.

The Aztec Mexica community identifies itself as a smaller community within the greater Latino and Mexican communities.

The Aztec people dominated large parts of Mesoamerica, that’s central Mexico and northern parts of South America, from the 14th to 16th centuries. The most famous Aztec city is Tenochtitlan, now the location of Mexico City.

The 2014 new year celebration marks the beginning of the year of “2 rabbit.” The number two represents duality and the symbol of the rabbit represents creativity and productivity.

-- Patrick Larkin


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