Arts & Culture / Events

Popular Zacatecano Fest to Return to Maywood in July — but with a Twist

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Zacatecas fest

Zecatecano Fest, held at Maywood Veterans Memorial Park last year, will return to that location this year. | YouTube

Thursday, June 9, 2016 || By Michael Romain

The popular Zacatecano Fest, a weekend-long cultural celebration hosted by the nonprofit Federation of United Clubs from Zacatecas, will return to Maywood on July 16 and 17.

The event, which was widely considered a success when it was held here last year, will take place at Maywood Veterans Park at the corner of Fred Hampton Way (Oak Street) and Fifth Avenue.

The Maywood Board of Trustees unanimously approved a special event application at a special meeting Thursday evening. Trustee Ron Rivers was absent.

“I went to the event last year and it was a huge success,” said Trustee Isiah Brandon. “The Governor of Zacatecas, Mexico was there and he toured the area … We have to make sure to do things with the Hispanic population in mind.”

Jose Estrada, the event’s organizer, said the fest has evolved over the years. It began as a celebration among members of the Zacatecas nonprofit, he said, before it gained in popularity, eventually attracting people from outside of the nonprofit.

According to a memo by Estrada, the nonprofit was formed in order to organize “people of Mexican origin from the State of Zacatecas residing in Illinois so together we can work toward improvements of our communities.”

Estrada said the fest will adhere to the nonprofit’s purpose, but announced that the event’s planners have broadened its scope in order to attract the interest of more people from Maywood, although some of the nonprofit’s members live here as well. This year, Estrada noted, the Saturday of the fest will be more of a Maywood community and family day, replete with Gospel music.

That Saturday will also host the fest’s soccer tournament, which is sponsored by the Chicago Fire Major League Soccer team.

“This plugs a hole in an area not really filled by the village,” Brandon said, referencing what some residents have considered the relative absence of village-planned, community-wide recreational events.

At a special June 15 meeting, the board is expected to approve a liquor license and ordinance for the event. VFP 

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