By Jeffrey Totey

Although it’s called “Hispanic Heritage Month,” most events stretch out between September 15 to October 15. It’s a time of reflection and celebration of Independence from Spanish rule and is a great way to learn more about the heritage on local Latinos. Here are five of the best ways to celebrate diversity in the coming weeks.

Seattle Fiestas Patrias South Park Parade And Festival
South Park Community Center
8319 8th Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 9810

The Seattle Fietstas Patrias kicks off September 16, 2017 with the annual parade which travels down 14th Avenue and Cloverdale Street finishing up at the South Park Community Center for a fiesta you won’t soon forget. The festival includes a health fair providing free screenings for cholesterol and glucose, traditional Latin and American food, mariachi music, a karaoke contest and lots of music and dancing too. The parade begins at 11:00 a.m. (visit the website for parade route) and the festival runs from 1:00-6:00 p.m.

Seattle Fiestas Patrias At Seattle Center
Seattle Center
305 Harrison St.
Seattle, WA 98109
(206) 684-7200

Seattle Center Festál presents Seattle Fiestas Patrias on September 16 and 17, 2017. Located in The Armory, Fisher Pavilion and the Seattle Center Pavilion, this festival will celebrate Hispanic cultural roots alongside contemporary forms or art. The event includes live performances, an art show, hands-on activities for the kids, a children’s soccer clinic, a boxing exhibition, mariachi music, traditional food and games and of course a themed marketplace.

Seattle Latino Film Festival
Various Locations in Seattle
(971) 704-5849

Now in its 9th year, the Seattle Latino Film Festival will be held from October 6-14, 2017 at various venues in the greater Seattle area. The purpose of the event is to highlight many of the best films from Latino and Hispanic countries. This year will pay specail tribute to films created in the Dominican Republic. In addition to great movies, the festival includes talks with international filmmakers, producers and actors. Please visit the website for full schedule and the film-viewing locations.

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45th Building the Beloved Community Gala
The Westin Seattle
1900 5th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 957-4649

Founded in 1972, the Building the Beloved Community Gala is El Centro de la Raza’s largest fundraiser of the year where the money goes toward supporting children, youth, families and seniors in the various programs that they offer. The 45 annual gala will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2017 from 5:00-9:00 p.m. and will include dinner, awards and a live auction. Last year’s event raised over $348,000. Tickets are $150 before September 16, 2017. Tickets will be $175 thereafter.

Salsa Con Todo
SCT Studio
750 N. 34th St.
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 402-2945

Salsa Con Todo offers 4-week classes on Salsa Basics and Salsa 101 dance classes for those wanting to learn how to kick up their heels. For $80, you’ll learn how to dance the Salsa “from the ground up” says Salsa Con Todo. The Salsa Basics class is a little less formal and is a perfect way to see if you’d like to pursue dancing further. The 101 class is just the start of other Salsa classes offered so you can master the art of dance.

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