**For Immediate Release**
Hispanic Heritage Celebrations Planned
-released by OPSU Campus Communications 09-13-06
Goodwell, Okla. — For the second consecutive year, Oklahoma Panhandle State University will offer Hispanic Heritage Month activities. The United States has annually celebrated Hispanic culture for over 30 years, and in September of 2001, Congress authorized and requested the President to issue an annual proclamation designating September 15 through October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month. The declaration provides citizens an opportunity to express appreciation to Hispanic Americans for their contributions to society and celebrate our diversity.
The chosen dates encompass September 15 and 16, a time of traditional independence day celebrations for many Hispanic countries as well as October 12, known nationally as Columbus Day, but known as “Dia de la Raza” (Day of the Race) in Hispanic countries, a time set aside to commemorate Pre-Columbian cultures.
OPSU will kick off celebrations on Sunday, September 17, with the annual Guymon FIESTA in the Texas County Activity Center. For the tenth year, the City of Guymon is hosting the free event with generous support from Oklahoma Arts Council, KGYN, Seaboard Foods, Hitch Enterprises, City National Band and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW).
The OPSU Mariachi Band will open the event with a performance beginning at 1:30 p.m. Folkloric dancers from Dallas will perform at 2:15, 3:00, and 4:00 and local dancers from Guymon High School and other groups will perform between those times. At 6 p.m., the FIESTA Queen and King will be crowned by OPSU President Dave Bryant. The successors to the crown receive a tuition waiver to attend OPSU in the fall of 2007. OPSU freshman Jezebel DelaGarza will crown the new royalty. The day concludes with a live Hispanic music concert and dance under the direction of Grupo Rosales from Liberal, Kans. The family-oriented event includes food vendors, a piñata breaking, and a section for children to make traditional Mexican arts and crafts.
OPSU will host a variety of events throughout the month including “Latino Jam,” a dance for the entire campus featuring great Latin rhythms, and “Feria Latina,” a display celebrating a variety of Latin American countries with food tasting booths and cultural exhibits. Other plans include an area-wide high school and college level soccer tournament, the High School Hispanic Student Success Seminar, and Noche de Gala, an evening of Mexican-style food and entertainment. The McKee Library staff and the World Literature classes will host displays throughout the month. More information about these events will be available soon.
OPSU takes pride in recognizing the contributions of Hispanic citizens, and invites the public to participate in all of these activities.