Variety of events planned this weekend
By ANGIE HAFLICH
The key word for this weekend is variety. The events include a long-standing Garden City tradition celebrating Mexican independence and culture, a comedy film, physical fitness, arts and crafts, a drive-thru flu shot clinic and training for volunteers who want to work with horses and the people who benefit from them.
Garden City's 87th Annual Community Mexican Fiesta is set for Friday through Sunday and includes a number of traditional events, along with some new ones.
The celebration is important to Garden City because it is linked to the Mexican heritage that helps shape the community's unique culture and has been taking place every year since 1926. This year's theme is "Dejando Huellas" — "Leaving Footprints."
"This will be a truly historic year for the longest-running annual celebration in Garden City," said Angelica Castillo-Chappel, Fiesta president. "It includes a mix of new events with some of the traditions that stretch back decades and decades."
Castillo-Chappel said the celebration is based on a cry for freedom, known as "el grito," that went out across Mexico in 1810, sparking a war for independence from Spain. Today, Sept. 16 is celebrated by millions of people in Mexico, as well as the U.S.
Fiesta events include:
* The Fiesta scholarship pageant is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday in the auditorium of the Pauline Joyce Fine Arts Building at Garden City Community College.
* The Fiesta parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday on Main Street.
* The Fiesta celebration will begin after the parade in Stevens Park and will feature a series of family-friendly activities, food and live music, featuring a Mariachi band and folkloric dancers.
* The first-ever beer garden will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday in Stevens Park, along with live music by three bands, La Costumbre NorteÃ±a, Son Lagunero and Dodge City-based El Emperador.
For more information about the parade and other Fiesta programs, contact Castillo-Chapel at 260-1435. For more information about the pageant, contact Christopher Cruz at 290-4053.
Other events include:
* The Finney County Health Department, along with Finney County Emergency Management and Finney County EMS, will be hosting a drive-thru flu shot clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the north parking lot at Garden City High School.
This is the first time a drive-thru clinic has been offered in the county, and Michael Paz-Torres, emergency management coordinator, said that all three organizations are conducting the clinic to not only administer flu shots, but also to prepare for a pandemic, if one should ever occur in the area.
"What we're doing is rehearsing a plan we already have in place, so in case we ever have a pandemic in Finney County, we're prepared to handle it as quickly and efficiently as possible," Paz-Torres said.
He said this is the first time they have conducted an exercise testing the plan and that necessary adjustments and changes will be made to it, based on what they learn during the exercise.
Flu shots will be provided for ages 6 months and older and are $25. For those who are 65 and older, the health department also will have available high-dose flu shots for $50. People are asked to bring insurance information or they may pay with cash or check. Small children are encouraged to wear shorts so their legs are accessible.
For more information, contact the Finney County Health Department at 272-3600.
* Recognition of Art and Doris Green of the Kansas State Eagle Hall of Fame will take place Saturday at the Eagles Lodge, U.S. Highway 83 and Mary Street. A dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m., with a dance following from 8 p.m. to midnight. "The Moonshiners" band will perform.
All Eagles members and friends of the Greens are invited to attend.
* This week's selection in the Second Friday Films series shown at the Finney County Public Library, 605 E. Walnut St., is a 1988 comedy, "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown," directed by Pedro Almodovar. The films, are shown at 7 p.m. on the second Friday of the month. No admission is charged, and refreshments are available.
* The Holcomb Recreation Commission will be hosting a grand opening and a 10th anniversary celebration for its wellness center from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. HRC recently completed a 3,000-square-foot addition to the wellness center that includes a new entrance, free weight room, new equipment, fitness/dance studio and locker/showers.
The morning's activities will include tours, refreshments, fitness and dance class demonstrations for both adults and youth, plus prize drawings every 30 minutes for T-shirts, towels, bags, free memberships and an iPod Touch.
* Arts & Crafts Saturdays starts this weekend at the Garden City Recreation Commission. The program is for first- through sixth-graders and will meet every Saturday for four weeks from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Deadline to register is today. Fee for the program is $30, and each participant will take something home each week. This Saturday's theme is fall crafts. For more information call 276-1200 or register on line at gcrec.com.
* The Miles of Smiles therapeutic horseback riding program will have a new volunteer training/informational meeting at 2 p.m. Saturday at 901 W. Maple St. Experience with horses and/or disabilities is not necessary to volunteer. Volunteers must be 14 or older, or accompanied by an adult. A minimum of one hour per week is required of each volunteer. For more information, call 260-9997 or 271-4925.