By this point, I still had no idea what was going on, but as I reached the main stage it finally hit me.
October is Hispanic Heritage Month and this was Tempe’s celebration of its hispanic roots called Tempe Tardeada. Tardeada roughly translates to “a party that takes place in the afternoon.” Vendors were selling traditional hispanic cuisine. Kids could make maracas, paper flowers, and tortillas from scratch. Local musicians and dancers performed traditional ballads and dances. The Tempe History Museum had an instillation of art created by the Hispanic community as well as family cultural photo albums. We even met an oral historian who has written books about the hispanic community’s influence on Tempe and their history.
The place was packed. Kids were running around and dancing to the music. Adults were huddled around tables munching on peppers. Everyone was having a great time. I even saw groups of people head in and out of the museum, a place that is usually rather quiet on a Sunday.
This is the way to celebrate history. You can lecture about history all you want but if you really want someone to understand a culture, immerse them in it!
Want to talk Hispanic Heritage Month? Have a burning historical question? Reach us through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on twitter @sparkysquill.