Celebrate Fiesta Day at the Colorado State Fair

A Mexican rodeo rider faces the camera sitting on his horse holding the Mexican flag

Every year, Hispanic communities around Colorado attend the extremely popular Fiesta Day at the Colorado State Fair. Since its inception in 1965, the annual event celebrates the Latino and Hispanic culture in Pueblo and across Colorado, showcasing traditional Mexican food, Folklorico dancers, and of course, mariachi music.

The Fiesta Day event is held every September on the Sunday before Labor Day and is by far the most popular day of the Colorado fair.

History of the Fiesta Day Committee

In a time when global diversity needs to be celebrated, the annual event in Pueblo allows the Colorado community to discover what the world looks like through the lenses of different cultures. Fiesta Day exhibits Hispanic culture in Colorado and celebrates the diversity within the Hispanic community.

Fiesta Day, as it’s known today, started on the last three days of the 1966 State Fair in Colorado. Mr. Henry Reyes convinced Don Svedman, the newly appointed State Fair Manager, that his ideas for a day dedicated to celebrating the influence and importance of the Hispanic culture in the community were worth adopting.

The idea of Fiesta Day had been earlier proposed but never implemented, and Mr. Svedman was looking for ideas to make the Colorado State Fair more successful.  George Sandoval with the help of the KAPI Radio Station manager contracted a performance for 1966 with the famous singer Antonio Aguilar and his wife, Flor Silvestre. 

Mr. Svedman was so impressed with the performance and the brilliance of the well-planned, well-attended event that he supported the “Fiesta Day” idea during the State Fair. A Fiesta Day committee was created to choose a theme that would be celebrated with mariachi music, Folklorico dancers, charros, and Caballos maestros. The celebration would have traditional food, beautiful decorations, and fanfare. Antonio Aguilar would entertain the audience and bring his trained horses to delight people with the Mexican Cowboy show.

As Mr. Reyes once stated, “The important part for a successful Fiesta Day is to find other persons enthusiastic about the idea and then to excite all of Pueblo and the entire State of Colorado.”

Why Fiesta Day is Important to the Hispanic Community

 A man eating a meal at the Colorado State Fair

Since it began, Fiesta Day has been a way of showing the Colorado State Fair what Hispanic culture means and why the included communities are so proud of their heritage. It is a day of celebration, joy, laughter, and, more importantly, fun. There are no words that can fully capture the feeling of attending Fiesta Day in Pueblo; It’s something that needs to be experienced for one to understand.

The Hispanic culture boasts perseverance, family commitment, determination, and the ability to enjoy life. Colorado Fiesta Day displays all these traits as the committee works tirelessly to make the day memorable.

From the Fiesta Day parade to the cultural music, the entire day includes everything you want to experience. The event recreates the childhood memories of every Hispanic and allows everyone attending to experience this same feeling, even if it’s only for a day.

While this tradition serves as a celebration of the Hispanic culture and a symbol of fun, this year’s event comes at a time when understanding this culture is more important than ever. Understanding Hispanic culture is important for everyone as it has many rich traditions and wonderful experiences to share.  Any opportunity to be part of the Hispanic community is an invitation to learn more about the world around you while enjoying delicious food and friendly company!

The Fair has celebrated Fiesta Day for decades, and this annual event continues to be a cornerstone of the Hispanic culture in Pueblo and across Colorado. The Fiesta Day committee works tirelessly to deliver a fantastic day that wraps up the celebration and fun of the Fair. This year, many people look forward to spending the day with the Colorado community and joining in on the festivities.

Fun Events During Fiesta Day

For good reasons, the Colorado State Fair is many families’ favorite fair destination. Below are some fun events during the celebration, giving you a general overview of what to expect during this exciting day.

Colorado Fiesta Day Parade

The Fiesta Day parade is one of the biggest attractions during the celebration. Thousands of people attend to watch or join the parade. The Fiesta Day parade has everything from flag-bearers to musical marching bands to cheerleaders dancing on beautiful decorative moving floats. The parade lasts for more than one hour, and you can watch numerous performances that go by.

Mariachi Music & History

Several mariachi bands present live performances during the event, filling the air with calming sounds of traditional Mexican music. Every Sunday Morning of Fiesta Day, the celebration begins with an outdoor mariachi mass where the band plays sacred songs. Moreover, you can hear mariachi music throughout the day, from the parade to the fairgrounds and the rodeo arena.

Colorado Rodeo

Mexican caballeros ride horses in a stadium holding the Mexican flag at the Colorado State Fair

While you may have seen animals perform jaw-dropping tricks, you probably haven’t seen an animal dance like the impressive horses during Fiesta Day. A performance described as a “ballet of horses.” Under the command of their expert riders, these horses gracefully move like ballet dancers. This is something that people of all age groups often enjoy and is a favorite among children.

You can also watch the expert horsemen with sombreros and traditional outfits perform their legendary horse-riding skills on their impressively trained horses. They handle these horses with total mastery until they are practically one with the animals. They also showcase their impressive rope skills twirling and swinging their lasso with precision and elegance.

Folk Dances

Pretty traditional Mexican dancers with flowing skirts

During Fiesta Day, elegant dancers wear traditional Mexican-style dresses and dance to mariachi music accompanied by gentlemen in festive suits. Watch their vibrant dresses sway in the wind as they twirl and spin around, creating an accurate image of Hispanic beauty and grace. With neutral colors and controlled moves, the male dancers move with careful coordination to help balance the poetic motions and bright colors of the female dancers. This stark contrast allows them to complement each other perfectly, creating a stunning appearance and building an incredible show.

Traditional Decorations

Colorful mexican perforated papel picado banner, festival colourful paper garland. Multi colored hispanic folk carved tissue flags, holiday or carnival. Authentic fiesta decoration in Latin America

Several beautiful cultural decorations for Fiesta Day represent the rich Hispanic culture. These may include stylish ponchos, festive sombreros, brightly colored clothing, horses in traditional saddles with vibrant embellishments, stylish charros exhibiting Mexican flags atop their steed, and many more.

You’ll hear sounds of cheerful mariachi music and smell the aroma of cultural delicacies in the air.

This day creates the feeling of being transported to Mexico with all the rich cultural aspects packed into one fun day.

Celebrate at the Colorado State Fair

This year, Fiesta Day celebrations in Colorado return with an entire parade and a complete set of events at the State Fairgrounds. Expect dazzling floats with dance-inducing traditional music, eye-catching performances, and adding grand decorations on cars and horses. It’s a day everyone can enjoy and experience this vibrant culture together.

If you want to experience an unforgettable summer, book a ticket to the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo. And If you have any questions or want more information, call us at 719-561-8484