If the energy and excitement that exists among the organizing committee carries over to the actual event, the Fiesta de Independencia on Sunday, September 16, 3 to 7 p.m., at Fir Street Park and the adjoining street, will be a joyous, exuberant afternoon.

This is the first of what is hoped will be an annual community-wide, family-friendly free celebration of Mexican Independence Day. Entertainment will be provided by an eight-piece mariachi band from Hood River, Los Temerosos de Juan Antonio, and folkloric dancing by Folklore Luna of Madras. Everyone will be welcome to dance.

Mexican dishes will be available for purchase at reduced prices from three food trucks - Joe's of Sisters, Krustiis Muchiis of Redmond, and Tacos de Nava of Bend. Free beverages are being provided by event sponsor Citizens4Community (C4C). No alcohol is allowed in the park.

The park will be decorated with colorful Mexican flags and banners. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets, and there will be a few picnic tables provided.

As an added bonus, free drawings will be held throughout the afternoon for gift certificates and items donated by local Sisters businesses.

The fiesta is a celebration of the Cry of Dolores, an historical event that occurred in Mexico in the early morning of September 16, 1810. Secular Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang the bell in his church and gave the call to arms (pronunciamiento) that triggered the Mexican War of Independence from Spain.

The war extended from the Cry of Dolores in 1810, to the entrance of the Army of the Three Guarantees, led by Agustin de Iturbide, to Mexico City on September 27, 1821. September 16 is now celebrated as Mexican Independence

Day.

The fiesta is a C4C event in partnership with the Sisters-area Latino community and Peter Lowes, owner of Ola! restaurants, with the additional financial support from St. Charles Health System, ZoselHarper Realtors, Bill and Zoe Willitts, Hoyt's Hardware, First Interstate Bank, Blue Burro Imports, Los Agaves, Rancho Viejo, the City of Sisters, Sisters Park & Recreation District and Sisters Folk Festival.

The organizers would also like to extend a big thank-you to Suttle Tea. According to Wendy Birnbaum, chairman of the committee, "They are such gems to let us have our meetings and linger."

Committee members include: Fermina Morales, Anna Ortega, Roberto Islas, Gabriela Pena, Jane Paxson, Jodi Winnwalker, Robyn Holdman, Amy Burgstahler, Amy Abramson, Katie Williams, and Tree and Cam Stoddart.

The fiesta is the third free community-building event of the summer by C4C and partners, with funding from the Ford Family Foundation. The others were the Rhythm and Song Circle and Footloose in the Fire Hall.

For more information visit www.citizens4community.com.