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San Antonio celebrates Diez y Seis with parades, parties and pride

The Diez y Seis parade celebrating West Side triumphs and Mexican Independence Day returned on Saturday after a two-year pandemic hiatus.

The parade featured around 60 entries that celebrated Mexican Independence Day and recognized several West Side organizations.

Elaine Moreno, a community health worker student at Northwest Vista College, appreciated the event and her part in it.

It was an awesome experience to just be able to see people come out (and) have fun," she said, "making it a friendly environment for others to get out and enjoy the floats, the vehicles that are passing by, and just being able to show ourselves to the community. ..."

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg also participated. "It's an important celebration of our bi-national heritage and our Hispanic Heritage Month kicking off," he said.

"We’re in the West Side of San Antonio, which is really the heart and soul, and the beauty of San Antonio, and of course the heart of our bi-national heritage here."

The four dozen parade entries represented several West Side groups, charros on horseback, Aztec dancers, the University of Texas at San Antonio, the Military Armed Services Marching Band, and vintage vehicles.

Gabriel Quintero Velasquez, president and CEO of the Avenida Guadalupe Association, was pleased the event was back.

"We are excited to re-engage our community in the parade after the unanticipated hiatus caused by the global Coronavirus pandemic," he said.

The parade event began in 1981 to showcase positive, transformative economic development victories of the neighborhood-led community development corporation in one of the nation's most important Mexican American communities.

The parade was part of National Hispanic Heritage Month activities in San Antonio.

Jennifer Gonzalez contributed to this report.

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Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian