Organizers of Las Fiestas Patrias de la Calle Cuatro, billed as one of the largest events in Southern California to celebrate independence in Mexico and Central America, announced Monday that this year's festival will be Santa Ana's biggest ever.
During a press conference at Santa Ana's Fiesta Market Place on 4th Street, event organizers said the three-day, family-themed celebration beginning Sept. 18 will include internationally known Latino performers, a parade and a children's carnival with rides and games. The event is expected to attract as many as 350,000 people.
"We're going to bring such excitement to 4th Street that the entire country will be talking about it," said Ray Garza, president of Hispanic America Advertising, which is promoting the event. "We're going to have eight entire blocks of booths. People will walk away with the experience that they've tasted Mexico in Santa Ana."
Garza said Hispanic America Advertising will spend $500,000 on the festival this year, a budget three times that of last year's event. Performers booked for the event will be announced in August, and plans to televise the event on a Spanish-language network are being considered.
At the press conference, conducted in both English and Spanish, Hispanic America Advertising spokeswoman Deborah Secoy said: "This is something you can bring your whole family to. It's an opportunity to have fun and understand another culture."
Garza called on residents and business owners to join the festivities and made a special invitation for Latino military veterans to join the parade on Sept. 20. Those interested in participating in the parade or running a booth can call (310) 908-6933 for more information.