Spring is the best time to try something new, to put flowers in your hair and dance in the streets. Start you spring off the right way with the 2015 Mexican Fiesta at Federation Square. On Sunday 13 September from 11.30am – 8pm, Federation Square will go loco! Join in the fun, flavours and fashion as Melbourne's conic main square is turned into little Mexico for the day.
This festival, founded in 2012, was started by a group of Mexicans who wanted to showcase to Melbourne what Mexican culture was all about. The Festival takes place on the Sunday closest to Mexican Independence Day annually and has now landed some major sponsors and is a large and impressive affair.
When you think of Mexico, most of us think of FOOD! At the Festival you can enjoy the delicious Mexican flavors at 'Taste of Mexico'. Think spicy habanero, rich moles, tamales, tacos and meat. Anyone who has travelled to South or Central American can tell you that they are crazy for their meat. Expect lots and lots of meat. Some of Melbourne's finest Mexican restaurants will be on hand to whip you up your lunch or dinner, including Touche Hombre, the famed and impossible to get into Mamasita, La Tortilleria and my personal favorite, Los Amates.
You need some entertainment to enjoy whilst devouring that luscious food, so head on over to the Viva Mexico stage for an array of Mexican dancing, singing and ceremonial entertainment. Performers will include the local Mexbourne dance troop, live mariachi and salsa bands, Mexican rock music and the traditional ceremony of El Grito to celebrate Mexican Independence.
Being a Sunday, you might have the kids in tow. Not to worry, they are catered for too. The festival's kids corner will be in full swing, offering musical instruments for the kids to pay and lean, face-painting, handicrafts and a chance for them to learn some Spanish too. You can also check out the art exhibition in the Federation Square Atrium that brings together many of the talented Mexican artists who are living in Melbourne to exhibit their work under the one roof, in celebration of the Mexican Independence Day.
No cultural Festival would be complete without a marketplace and Mexico sure has some great craft and homewares. Bright colours and textiles will line the streets, and could be soon gracing your house. There will be a range of handmade craft and imported goods for sale at the Festival, great for both browsing and buying!
If you're looking to take your celebrations long into the night, you might want to visit the Festival bar, for a Mexican delight. Everyone loves a Margarita, but have you tried a Paloma? If spirits are not your thing, you can enjoy a range of Mexican beers, such as Corona, Pacifico and Negra Modelo. My personal pick, Negro Modelo, it is a darker, richer and more flavoursome beer, a lot more substantial that the popular and lighter Corona.
There really is something for everyone at the 2015 Mexican Fiesta. Be sure not to miss out, it also makes for great water-cooler conversation on Monday.