Where to Celebrate Peruvian Independence in the United States

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On July 28, 1821, General Jose de San Martin officially declared Peruvian Independence. In a famous speech, San Martin pronounced these immortal lines: “From this moment on, Peru is Free and Independent, by the general will of its citizens, and for the justice of their cause which God protects, Long live our homeland, long live to freedom, long live our independence!”

July 28, then, is a blessed date. Every year Peruvians commemorate the birth of our glorious Republic. Almost two centuries later, various festivities are arranged in our sacred land ranging from parades, dance, music and food exhibitions. In Limeño neighborhoods, several roofs are adorned by a myriad of beautiful Peruvian flags.

On July 28, a patriotic fever also seizes my fellow Peruvians in the US. In multiple festivities, Peruvians pay homage to their impressive culture, music and cuisine. As a Peruvian in the US, these are some of the events you might want to attend:

1. Miami, Florida: “Festival Oficial Peruano”, Celebrating “A Lo Bestia, Loco”

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Let’s celebrate “a lo bestia, Loco!” This exciting comment appears in the promotion of the “Peruvian Official Festival, 2016.”  This event will take place on Sunday, July 24th in Doral, Florida. Sponsored by Univision, the festival will showcase Puerto Rican salsero Ray Sepulveda, but also notorious Peruvian chicheros as Ana Kohler and the “Brothers Yaipen.”

The special guest will be the vocalist Raul Romero, leader of the famous rock Band “Los Nosequien y Los NoseCuantos”. Formerly known as “Fava bean’s face” (Cara de Haba), Raul Romero will delight the public with classic themes as “Las Torres” and “Los Patos y las Patas“. This event will be hosted by former Miss Peru Rosa Elvira Cartagena.

Website: Festival Oficial Peruano

Cost: General Admission $ 20, VIP $ 50

2. Miami, Florida: “Festival Peruano de Miami”, Dancing to the Music of “The Canary” and “the Shorty”

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On Sunday, July 31, Peruvians in Miami will congregate in “Ranchito Mi Peru” restaurant. The organizers of the “International Peruvian Festival of Miami” will feature music Bands “Rumba Kings” and “Bareto”. The show will be hosted by Peruvian Vedettes Mariella Zanetti and Anelhí Arias. If such artists do not arouse you yet, the festival also has a “Dominican Canary” and a “Peruvian Shorty”.

Dancing to the music of “the Canary”? Yes, Salsa singer Jose Alberto “The Canary” will interpret his great salsa hits from the nineties. Those with a distaste for salsa should practice Zapateo with the Huaylarsh tunes interpreted by Eusebio “The Shorty” Grados.

Website: Festival Peruano de Miami

Cost: General Admission $ 20, VIP $ 50

3. Los Angeles, California: “First Peru Village Festival”, Practicing Your Quechua 

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If you lack money to attend a festival, don’t say I’m Mission Impossible. This mission is actually possible in California, where the festival is completely free.

Peruvians in Los Angeles will commemorate our independence in a festival to be held in Chollywood, sorry, Hollywood. This event is organized by our friends from “Peru Village L.A”, with the support of the Consulate General of Peru in Los Angeles. For a lack of a famous artist, the program has been arranged by the local community, which is even better.

There will be a food exhibition, a job fair, both artisan and farmer’s markets, and Sapo Games! Perhaps the most exciting part is that quick Quechua lessons for children will be provided. Isn’t that awesome? Kausachun Peru! (Viva el Peru!)

Website: Peru Village L.A

Cost: Totally Free

4. Los Angeles, California- “International Peruvian Parade of Los Angeles”, Laughing with “The Andean Man of Stainless Steel”

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If Americans have “Superman, the Man of Steel”, Peruvians have the “Andean Man of Stainless Steel.”

Entering reputed Peruvian comedian Tulio Loza, better known as “El Cholo de Acero Inoxidable“. Also known as “Camotillo El Tinterillo“, Tulio helped to demystify the word Cholo (Andean man) by portraying an indigenous man without the absurd stereotypes associated with Cholos back then. Tulio Loza will be the main attraction for the Peruvian Parade, on July 23.

The parade will be staged in Downtown Los Angeles, at 10:00 am. It will be followed by a dinner, in which the “Peruvian Roots Cultural Center” will present an exhibition of Marinera,  Huaylarsh and Huayno dances.

Website: Peru Wonders

Cost: Parade is free, Dinner, $70

5. Los Angeles, California- “Peruvian Mega-Festival”, Dancing to The Tunes of “Mi Comadre Cocoliche”

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Many Peruvians love Salsa, and festivals showcasing Salsa stars guarantee a massive attendance.

The “Peruvian Mega Festival” promoters in California had a big predicament. The “Dominican Canary” was already booked for a show in Miami. So, for the lack of the Canary, these promoters tried to hire “the Lion”. I’m not referring to a Zoo’s Lion but to the Venezuelan singer Oscar de Leon, “The Lion of Salsa.” Unfortunately, the Lion had other presentations.

Unable to book the Canary and the Lion, promoters wound up hiring “The Singer of Youth” Victor Manuelle. This 47-year-old Puerto Rican sonero has a vast music repertoire to have Peruvians display their dancing skills for a full night.

The Peruvian music will be provided by Juan Ernesto Barbieri, a Vals criollo interpreter quite popular in Peru. Lately, Barbieri has revived Criollo songs such as “Acurruncun (El Chacombo)” and “Mi Comadre Cocoliche“, classic themes from the deceased singer Arturo “Zambo” Cavero.

Website: Mega Festival Peruano

Cost: General Admission $ 20, VIP $ 50

6. Denver, Colorado-“The Fourth Festival of Peruvian Independence”

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The Organization “Mi Casa Peru” champions social change and values to individuals and families in Denver. In association with Telemundo, “Mi Casa Peru” presents the 4th Festival of Peruvian Independence on July 31th. The event will take place in Columbus Park, Denver, from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm. The food exhibition will be composed of flagship dishes such as Ceviche, Anticuchos de Corazoncito con su ajisito, and Pollo a la Brasa. There will be Marinera, Tondero and Diablada dance performances.

Laughs will not be missing since a fabulous comedy show includes the Peruvian clown Timbalin (Little Kettledrum) and “The Andean Man of Stainless Steel” Tulio Loza.

Website: Peruvian Festival Denver

 Cost: Free

7. Boston, Massachusetts- “The Raising of the Glorious Peruvian Flag”, exhibiting the Spectacular Scissors Dance

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On Thursday, July 28, Peruvians in Boston will sing the National Anthem in a flag raising ceremony. Our gloriosa blanquirroja would be honored in Boston City Hall, hosting an event with a spectacular demonstration of “The Dance of the Scissors”. So come to watch these magical dancers perform their pirouettes while clanking their scissors and biting their own shoes.

Website: Peruanos en Massachusetts

Cost: Free.

8. Salt Lake City, Utah- “6th Mega Peruvian Festival”, the Longest Peruvian Festival

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This is the most laid-back Peruvian Independence festival in the United States. It lasts two consecutive days, and the organizers recommend you to bring “your own camping tents, chairs and blankets.”

The organizers provided a few details: “The Peruvian community in Utah invites you to two days of celebration with Peruvian food, traditional folklore; Marinera, Huaylarsh, Valicha and Huayno. There will be live music with international and local artists, children and water games, Peruvian art exhibitions and more.”

The outstanding event is the Beauty pageant “Miss Little Peru” for girls ages 5-8 and 9-13.

Website: Mega Peruvian Festival Downtown

Cost: Free

9. Los Angeles, California: “Peruvian Festival of Los Angeles”, with the Magnificent Cecilia Barraza

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Cecilia Barraza is one of the most popular criollo performers. Cecilia boasts an astonishing voice and a long musical trajectory.

On July 22, The Glendale discotheque “La Diosa” will host a splendid Peruvian Festival with two great stars. First of all, we already mentioned “The Shorty”, “the Canary” and “The Lion”. But did we say anything about “The Rooster”? No? Well, La Diosa will launch the Peruvian festivities with a show by Puerto Rican Sonero Tito “The Rooster” Rojas. The next day, July 23, the magnificent Cecilia Barraza will honor us with the best of her repertoire.

You should attend this festival, grab a cold beer and quench your Cecilia Barraza while listening to the great Cecilia Barraza.

Website: Festival Peruano de Los Angeles

Cost: General, $45 VIP $70

10. Paterson, New Jersey: The Paterson Peruvian Parade

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Hands down, this is the best Peruvian Festival and parade in the US. Simply put, Paterson is the capital of the Peruvian diaspora in the United States.

Paterson has 20,000 Peruvian residents, only a meager 3% of the total Peruvian population in the US. And yet, this 3% stage the most thrilling Peruvian Independence carnival. The cost to enact this parade is almost $100,000 just to cover “the police and cleaning services”. The overall costs may likely average half a million dollars. Lasting five days, this festival has dance and food exhibitions, beauty pageants, dozens of orchestras, Caballos de Paso, etc, etc.

Peruvians in Paterson even attempted to rename Paterson’s Main street to “Peru Boulevard“. In order to see more about this wonderful festivity, visit their website.

Website: Peruvian Parade Inc.

Cost: It depends on the event, more info here

Of course, there are far more Peruvian festivities in San Francisco, Wisconsin, New York, Virginia and Seattle. Check the following links

New York

San Francisco

Virginia

Seattle

Wisconsin


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