Fiesta de la Hispanidad March 22 in Ilfeld 

March 10, 2020

Norma Valenzuela and Sara Harris

Norma Valenzuela and Sara Harris

Las Vegas, N.M. – The 25th anniversary of New Mexico Highlands University’s Fiesta de la Hispanidad brings music and dance center stage to Ilfeld Auditorium, 900 University Ave., March 22 at 2 p.m. The doors open at 1 p.m.

Fiesta de la Hispanidad is a beloved community event that celebrates the local Hispanic culture and Spanish language.

“The fiesta promotes the talented participants who appear year after year as well as a wave of new performers,” said Sara Harris, Highlands University Spanish language professor emerita who organized Fiesta de la Hispanidad for its first 24 years. “These entertainers are the heart and soul of the fiesta.”

This year, Harris collaborated with Highlands Spanish language professor Norma Valenzuela to organize Fiesta de la Hispanidad. The two will emcee the event.

“This fiesta is important because the community comes together to celebrate and preserve our rich and treasured cultural roots and history,” Valenzuela said.

Harris said that the Fiesta de la Hispanidad this year is dedicated to the memories of Antonia Apodaca and Ernestine Romero.

“Doña Antonia was a New Mexico folk music legend who always performed first at the fiesta in past years. Ernestine was a vibrant young vocal performer who will continue to live in people’s memories,” Harris said.

The family show is bilingual.

“Music is the universal language. Whether you speak Spanish or not, it’s a fantastic show that everyone can enjoy,” Harris said.

The cost for Fiesta de la Hispanidad is $5. There will be door prizes and refreshments.

Advance tickets are on sale at the university’s KEDP radio station ticket office, Studio 103, 901 University Ave., Monday through Friday 1 to 5 p.m. or by calling 505-454-3238.

Proceeds from the show benefit Highlands University students through scholarships the Highlands Foundation awards from the Fiesta de La Hispanidad Scholarship Fund.

Valenzuela said Ilfeld Auditorium manager Donna Martínez and her technical crew always stage the fiesta show in a very professional and artistic manner.

“This is a win-win event for all involved,” Valenzuela said.

The program for Fiesta de la Hispanidad includes:

  • Gabrielle y Amanda Garduño
  • Ballet Folklorico de Las Vegas
  • Raelenea Durán
  • Los Zapateados
  • Ray Valdez
  • Los Charros
  • Charlie Tuna and Toby Sena
  • Gabriel Serna, Jr. – Featuring soloists Edna Brazil, Andy Ulibarrí, Christian Gutiérrez, Reyes Montoya, Angélica Montoya and James Garza
  • Grand Finale – Sangre Joven

Sponsors for Fiesta de la Hispanidad include the Highlands Department of Languages and Culture, the Highlands President’s Office, and the Highlands Foundation.

For more information, contact Valenzuela at