Festival season is kicking off in Lansing with the Cristo Rey Fiesta.
Cristo Rey Church is hosting its annual three-day fiesta, a celebration of Mexican culture that invites people to enjoy dancing, live music and all the homemade food one could possibly eat.
Cristo Rey Fiesta has been a staple for the church and its community for nearly four decades. It began as a way to celebrate the area’s rich cultural identity and has since attracted many traveling visitors. Cristo Rey Fiesta is one of the largest Latino events in Mid-Michigan, attracting 20,000 people over the course of its three-day lineup.
Attendees will be treated to authentic Mexican folkloric dancing, as well as dancing in the evenings to live Tejano and Salsa Merengue bands. Performers include Los Danzantes de Tonantzin, Gabriel Burciaga y los Bad Boyz, Ballet Maria Luz, Kick It Out Dance Studio, Fantasia Ballet Folklorico, Allegria, La Corporacion Alma Musical, DJ Fred and the Tejano Sound Band.
Guillermo Lopez has been involved in organizing the fiesta since 1986, helping build the fundraiser’s celebrated legacy.
“It’s lot of work from the parishioners.
And it was not only a fundraiser, but also a place where people come and congregate, talk to each other, once a year,” Lopez said. “It's a way for the church and the community to come together. If you look at it, it really starts the Lansing festival season to some degree.”
There will also be the “mercado,” a traditional vendors’ area offering costumes and arts and crafts from the various Latin countries represented by the fiesta.
As assured by Lopez, an impressive platter of home cooked meals will be prepared “There's gorditas, there's fajitas, barbacoa, tacos and menudo. We have nachos, tacos, fruit cups, snow cones and different Mexican drinks,” Lopez said. “We also have, for those who might want it, pizza and stuff like that. But mostly it's traditional Mexican fare.”
Lopez said first timers to the fiesta will feel right at home.
“It's a lot of fun, really. You come in and you see the fantastic decorations and hear the music, starting Friday with Mariachi and Aztec-based dancers. It's a happy time here. The food, the music, the drinks, friendships, everything.”
Cristo Rey Fiesta also holds a silent raffle, and proceeds benefit programs for youth and senior citizens, education, food banks, family outreach and several other charitable causes.
May 25-27 $5 after 5 p.m. Begins 4 p.m., Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. Sunday Cristo Rey Church Grounds 201 W. Miller Road, Lansing