Restaurant owner Fernando Villaseñor has been even busier than usual this week.
He has to be, to get everything ready for the celebration he’s hosting this weekend at his north Napa eatery .
On Sunday, a special vibe will be in the air at Villa Corona, located in , as the restaurant celebrates Mexico’s Independence Day.
The holiday, observed Sept. 16, commemorates the beginning in 1810 of Mexico's 10-year war for independence from Spain.
Villa Corona in Bel Aire Plaza – the Villaseñor family also owns restaurants in St. Helena and Vacaville – will be jumping Sunday with true authentic Mexican food, music and other activities.
From 4 to 8 p.m. the mariachi group Los Gallos performs and there's a special holiday food and drink menu all day.
“There will be a food surprise,” Villaseñor said with a smile. “I’m not giving the surprise away.”
Mexican Independence Day is Mexico’s Fourth of July, he said.
Azalea Aguilar, who teaches Advanced Placement Spanish literature at , agrees:
"It is exactly like the 13 colonies, with people trying to get their own identities and not be part of an empire any more," Aguilar said.
A cry for independence
On the night of Sept. 15, 1810, in the community of Dolores, a Mexican priest named Miguel Hidalgo rang the church bells, calling the people together at midnight to hear his impassioned call to arms — a speech now known as "El Grito," or "The Cry."
"They came with whatever they could find — brooms, sticks," to fight a Spanish rule weakened by the Napoleonic conflicts in Europe, Aguilar said.
Each year, she said, in cities and villages throughout Mexico, Hidalgo's "El Grito" is recited with its triple cry "Viva Mexico!"
It will be heard again this Sunday at celebrations in Calistoga's Pioneer Park, where thousands of Mexicans from across northern California gather each year; in St. Helena's Lyman Park; and in .
For details on Mexican Independence Day celebrations and other Napa Valley events throughout , please see somosnapa.org. Click the "Keep me posted" button for instant updates.
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