Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Tempe

Hispanic Heritage Month is recognized annually from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. 

Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of the history and culture of Hispanic communities as well as an opportunity to commemorate the influences and contributions of these communities have added to American society at large.

In Tempe, this includes community events that recognize the past, present and future of Hispanic communities through traditions, cultural celebrations, art, performances, and more.

From day one, the Hispanic community has played a considerable role in Tempe’s history

More than 300 years ago, Spanish settlers traveled north of central Mexico into what is now Arizona and started families that would live here for generations, some descendants becoming pioneer settlers of Tempe. 

One of these settlers was Manuela Sánchez Sotelo, also known as the Mother of Tempe. After her husband’s death, she traveled to Tempe to manage the family ranch. She created new American-Mexican relationships, shared her land with other Mexican families and was an early supporter of the new Territorial Normal School in Tempe. Her historic contributions to our city are why we continue to grow today! 

Many Hispanic community members also acted as the backbone of projects that grew Tempe, working on canals, farmland, Charles Trumbull Hayden’s blacksmith & wagon shops and at Hayden Flour Mill, one of the most prominent agricultural industries in the Valley at the time.   

Each year, Tempe holds various Hispanic Heritage Month events to honor and celebrate our Hispanic communities, and we invite you to join us throughout this month and beyond:

Mi Casa Es Tu Casa – Finding Home: Sept. 19, 2023
Tempe Center for the Arts

In collaboration with the Arizona Storytellers Project and the Arizona Republic’s bilingual publication La Voz, Tempe Center for the Arts invites you to an evening of storytelling, community building and celebration of the Valley’s diverse Latino residents around the theme of “home,” presented in Spanish and English with translation and captioning available. Hear from a panel of five storytellers who offer glimpses into pivotal moments in their lives — and why those come to mind when answering the question: “What does home mean to you?”

Mexican Independence Day at ASU: Sept. 15, 2023
ASU Art Museum

In partnership with the Consulate General of Mexico, CALA Alliance and the School of Transborder Studies, ASU presents its fifth-annual Mexican Independence Day celebration. From 5 to 8 p.m., attendees are invited to participate in art activities, face painting, lotería games, a workshop with artist Aileen Martinez, salsa lessons with the ASU Salsa Club, music from DJ CRVNT3S and mariachi, food from Salsa Bites and more.

Mariachi Herencia de México with special guest La Marisoul: Sept. 30, 2023
Tempe Center for the Arts

Experience a new generation that’s taking mariachi to new heights! Latin GRAMMY Award-nominated Mariachi Herencia de México and special guest GRAMMY Award-winner La Marisoul will share the stage for an unforgettable night of Mexican music and culture. Join them in honoring the past, celebrating the present, and creating the future of regional Mexican music.

Guelaguetza: Oct. 7-8, 2023 

Desert Botanical Garden

Guelaguetza is an annual Indigenous cultural event in the city of Oaxaca. Each fall, the lively festivities of this traditional Mexican indigenous holiday come alive at the Desert Botanical Garden. Immerse yourself in history, traditions, culture, art, music, dance and the flavors of Oaxaca’s eight regions.

Guelaguetza at Desert Botanical Garden
Credit: Desert Botanical Garden | Guelaguetza

Tempe Tardeada: Oct. 8, 2023 

Tempe Community Complex

¡Música y baile para todos! Music and dance for everyone! Tempe Tardeada’s mission is to identify and recognize the Hispanic historical roots of Tempe and educate the community with a celebration of the Hispanic culture. This event is free for all, from noon to 8 p.m., at Tempe Community Complex. 

Tempe Tardeada
Tempe Tardeada | Photo credit: City of Tempe

Lotería Nights: Oct. 18 & Nov. 15, 2023 
Desert Botanical Garden

Join the garden for rounds of Lotería, a Mexican card game similar to bingo, on the third Wednesday in October and November. Play for a chance to win prizes, and enjoy tasty food, drinks, música y más. Must be ages 21 to play. 

Día de Muertos: Nov. 4 & 5, 2023

Desert Botanical Garden

Celebrate Día de Muertos with a two-day festival filled with music, dance and storytelling at the Desert Botanical Garden, Nov. 4 & 5, 2023. At day’s end, Garden guests are invited to join performers in La Procesión, a procession honoring passed loved ones.

Día de Muertos at Desert Botanical Garden
Día de Muertos | Photo credit: Desert Botanical Garden

Share your Hispanic Heritage Month celebration in Tempe with us on Instagram by tagging @tempetourism or using #OurTempe.

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