HAZLE TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — An annual celebration of culture and independence kicked off Sunday morning near Hazleton.

Despite some weather, the Festival Mexicano still went on as planned at Hazle Township Community Park.

A cultural dance to the beat of the drums was the opening act at the second annual festival Mexicano.

Along with music and performances, the festival also featured food and a mechanical bull, all to celebrate Mexico’s independence.

One of the dancers says that the dance is a way to represent the culture and tell the story of their ancestors.

“It’s definitely something beautiful to represent and show everybody what type of it’s not just the skirts, and the, we also represent our ancient culture our ancestors the Mayans,” said Guadalupana Chinelos de Morelos dancer Giselle Aguilar.

Aguilar also explained what the outfits represent and why they wear them.

“It’s representing our different ancient history so what they used to wear in war, so our shield, and this it’s supposed to show our weapon and what they used to fight with because they fought with their hands because they didn’t really have any swords or anything they had to use sticks and stones just to fight,” Aguilar explained.

This is about more than just celebrating a community, it’s also about coming together as a community to have a good time.

“We have to remember before anything we are celebrating the Independence Day of Mexico, but also we are celebrating that we are humans and we can work together and we can have a good time,” said organizer Guillermo Lara.

“My parents are Puerto Rican and Mexican. It means a lot to show our pride, and it really shows what we’re all about, with the dancers and the food, and it shows our culture to everybody else,” said Hazleton resident Aislinn Pacheco.

That event is happening until 7:00 p.m. Sunday night at the Hazle Township Community Park.

Tune into our upcoming Hispanic Heritage Special as 28/22 News takes a look at all the celebrations and events exploring the diverse cultures within the Latino community.

The special will air Thursday night, October 5 at 8:00 p.m. on WBRE. You can also see it Saturday night, October 7, at 8:00 p.m. on WYOU.