"Downtown will be stage for Heritage Festival of Americas" by: Shelly Story

   Downtown Bay City will be filled with fun, food and music Sunday, Sept. 23, for the Heritage Festival of the Americas Celebration.
   The festival, which will run from 1-6 p.m. that day, is a celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month featuring South, Central and North American inspired food, drinks and entertainment.
   Our Lady of Guadalupe’s Matachines dancers will lead the way with authentic Mexican Folklorico dance.
   Next, the Wharton County Junior College Jazz Band will perform a Latin Swing concert. They will play a selection of fast-paced rhythms that will have the crowd on their feet.
   To wrap up the day’s entertainment, the Danza Azteca dancers from the Church of the Holy Ghost in southwest Houston will bring their group of colorfully dressed and feathered dancers to the streets of Bay City.
   The young festival goers can take part in the children’s dance contests, featuring music and dances from different regions. The contests will be divided into age groups with prizes for the winners in each.
   For those daring adults who like things a bit spicy, there will be a chile pepper eating contest. The contest may start off mild, but will have contestants breathing fire by the end.
   To add a little art to the day, the Bay City Art League will feature local artists with booths at the event.
   Our Lady of Guadalupe will have food and drink booths with offerings such as aguas frescas, candy, fruit, gorditas, tacos al pastor, tamales, sodas and more.
   MEHOP will have a beer and wine tent set up, with the drinks available for donations. You will need a photo identification to be served.
   There is no cost to attend the festival but there is a charge for the food and drinks.
   Bay City Main Street Program has partnered with Visit Bay City, Bay City Parks and Recreation Department, Our lady of Guadalupe Church, MEHOP and the art League of Bay City to present the Heritage Festival of the Americas.
   Event sponsors are TenarisBayCity, Reliance Auto Group, La Michoacana Meat Market, Historic Downtown Business Association and El Zarape Café. 

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