Courtesy of Fiesta Las Vegas Latino Parade and Festival
Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 | 2 a.m.
Like a multiple-day music festival with several stages, the plethora of Las Vegas events surrounding Mexican Independence Day and Hispanic Heritage Month requires a tactical approach to get the most from all of the offerings.
Hispanic Heritage Month runs Sept. 15-Oct. 15, but most of the events in Southern Nevada are booked closer to Mexican Independence Day, which is Monday.
There is something for everyone, from parades to sporting events and comedy shows, but lovers of Latin music will have the most choices.
To help you sift through the packed schedule and pick which events to attend, the Sun breaks down the calendar.
Fairs and festivals
This year's Fiesta Las Vegas promises more food, more performers and more floats than any previous year. About 10,000 are expected for the parade, from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday on Fourth Street from Gass to Stewart avenues, and 20,000 people are expected for the festival, from noon to 11 p.m. at the Fremont Street Experience. State Sen. Ruben Kihuen will be the grand marshal, and he will be joined by honorees Miss Fiesta Las Vegas Lorena Palos, North Las Vegas City Councilman Isaac Barron and Carrizo Ofelia Perez, leader of the dance group Danza del.
The parade and festival has kept growing each year since its creation in 2011. This year is no exception, from parade participants to food vendors and musical acts.
"Last year, we had about 70 participating groups in the parade, and this year we are right around 95 to 100," said Anastacio Del Real, Fiesta Las Vegas executive director. "That means the community is really embracing this event when it comes to the cultural groups, various associations, businesses and other stuff. As organizers, this is what we envisioned from the beginning. In just our third year, we feel we really are uniting the Latino community to represent their culture and traditions together."
The Las Vegas International Mariachi Festival, now in its 23rd year, is at 8 p.m. Saturday at Paris Las Vegas. The event will include performances by Antonio Aguilar Jr., Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez and Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano.
Looking ahead, Henderson will mark Hispanic Heritage Month on Oct. 26 with the Hispanic International Day Parade, which started in 2000.
Like previous years, the days surrounding Mexican Independence are full of concerts all over Las Vegas.
As part of Carlos Santana's ongoing show at Mandalay Bay, "An Intimate Evening with Santana: Greatest Hits Live — Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow," the virtuoso guitarist will play several shows at the House of Blues through Sept. 18.
Marco Antonio Solis will bring his long, brown locks and big voice to Mandalay Bay on Friday.
Mexican-American singer Lila Downs performs Friday at the House of Blues.
Mariachi El Bronx started when a punk band in Los Angeles, the Bronx, experimented with a pared-down, acoustic sound and took its music in a whole new direction. Catch one of their four free shows Friday through Monday at the Cosmopolitan's Book & Stage.
Los Horoscopos de Durango traces its roots to 1975, when the father of the current front women formed a group in Chicago. Today, Vicky and Marisol Terrazas lead the group that has brought widespread attention to the Durango style of banda, a brass-based form of traditional Mexican music. Los Horoscopos plays Mandalay Bay on Saturday.
Finally, if you’re looking to get your music fix off the Strip, head downtown Sunday for Beauty Bar's showcase, featuring Don Juan y Los Blancos, Los Apaches and El Mariachi Colima.
One of the most anticipated bouts of the year will take place over Independence Day weekend, when Floyd Mayweather Jr. faces off with Mexico's Saul "Canelo" Alvarez in a super welterweight world championship fight.
The match takes place Saturday at MGM Grand.
Neither boxer has ever lost. Mayweather, 36, is out to prove he can still handle top competition, and Alvarez, 23, is looking to prove he is ready for the spotlight.
If concerts and fights are not your style, there are also comedy events on tap for the weekend.
Gabriel Iglesias, the "fluffy not fat" comedian born in San Diego to Mexican parents who was a contestant on "Last Comic Standing," is booked for three shows — Friday, Saturday and Sunday — at the Mirage.
Haven't found what you are looking for? No need to worry; you will probably stumble across an event, or food and drink special, simply by leaving your house this weekend.
The Cosmopolitan will have its own "Grito Mexicano" at midnight Sunday at the Chandelier. There will be mariachis, dancers and a Champagne toast. Mariachis also will be roaming the resort the entire weekend for impromptu performances.
Various restaurants will offer food and drink specials this weekend. Rhumbar is celebrating with drink specials, She is offering a special prix-fixe menu and Tacos and Tequila is planning a mariachi brunch in addition to taco and margarita specials.
Downtown's newest Mexican restaurant, La Comida, will join the celebration with drink specials running from Saturday until Monday. Additionally, the restaurant will have the first brunch from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, right after the Fiesta Las Vegas parade. Saturday night, Las Vegas mariachi band Mariachi Mexico will play at La Comida.
Cabo Wabo Cantina will feature specials from Friday through Monday, including deals on buckets of Mexican beer and swings at a piñata full of prizes with the purchase of a shot of Cazadores or bottle of Dos Equis.