Dallas Arboretum Participates in Hispanic Heritage Celebration

On September 22, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden will be a part of the Hispanic Heritage Celebration with its first annual Quinceañera Fashion Show.

At 10 a.m., selected participants will walk the stage in Rosine Hall, showcasing their beautiful and colorful quinceañera dresses.

At 11 a.m., Mariachi Águilas de UNT will lead the selected participants in a parade down the paseo allowing even more guests to see their stunning dresses.

This celebration is the same day as the opening of Autumn at the Arboretum and the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden's fifth anniversary birthday celebration. This event is free for all paid garden guests.

Among several Spanish-speaking countries and Hispanic communities around the world, girls celebrate turning 15 years old with both a religious and social event called a quinceañera. The ritual symbolizes a girl's transformation from childhood into womanhood by expressing thanksgiving to God for life and by a purity protection blessing from a priest for the years to come.

The party is the second part of the quinceañera with dancing, food and music, ending with a father replacing his daughter's flat-soled shoe with high heels. Individual rituals can vary between cultures, but the heart of the "Sweet 15" remains as a coming-of-age ceremony.

J. Mark Wolf, Dallas Arboretum board chairman, said, "We often see these beautiful young ladies get their portraits taken at the Dallas Arboretum, yet many of us are not familiar with the traditions and customs of a quinceañera. By showcasing them as they prepare to celebrate their quinceañera, we will learn more about their culture, customs and personal stories during a special coming of age moment."

Adriana Lopez, host of Telemundo's daily show, Acceso Total, is the emcee for the fashion show. Throughout the main garden and A Tasteful Place, the Dallas Arboretum has planned demonstrations related to Hispanic culture and traditions.

Adding to the festive atmosphere are performances by Ballet Folklorico Hispano de Dallas and Spanish guitarist, Daniel Rodriguez. Hispanic vendors include Empanada Cookhouse, Topo Chico, Tamales Over Texas, who will be doing a demonstration and sale, Rock and Roll Tacos Food Truck, Cita's Salsa, La Princesa Paletas, and more.

All bands and vendors are located throughout the Entry Plaza and in A Tasteful Place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Studio Vargas Jr. is the onsite photographer and videographer for the event.

Young ladies who would like to apply to be in the fashion show should email Mayra Salazar at msalazar@dallasarboretum.org to receive an application.

There is no fee to enter, and the deadline to sign up and to send the completed form is August 31. Participants must be 15 or 16 years old, and they must be accompanied by a legal guardian.

Visit www.dallasarboretum.org/quinceanera for more information and application to apply.

An advisory Committee consisting of board members, including John Cuellar, Victor Ornelas, Ben Leal, Tatiana Higdon Estes and community leaders will select the young ladies based on their essay and completed applications. Each participant will receive two additional general garden admission tickets for family to attend the event as well.

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