Sweet 15: Arboretum Kicks Off Hispanic Heritage Month With Fashion Show

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden kicks off Hispanic Heritage Month in style with its third annual Quinceañera Fashion Show on Saturday, Sept. 12. 

The fashion show, which is open to young women ages 15 and 16, will take place at 10 a.m. in the Jonsson Color Garden. Selected participants will showcase their beautiful and colorful quinceañera dresses and share with guests their favorite traditions and plans for the future. Afterwards, they parade through the garden allowing even more guests to see their beautiful, colorful dresses.

At noon, guests can learn to make delicious tamales from Dallas’ Casa Masa in the Test Pavilion at A Tasteful Place, a garden dedicated to learning about food.

The day will include music by Havana NRG, one of the top Latin bands in the country, performing on the Martin Rutchik Concert Stage and Lawn from 2-4 p.m. Hispanic vendors selling food and goods round out the celebration. The event is free for all paid garden guests.

“In many Spanish-speaking countries and Hispanic communities around the world, girls celebrate turning 15 years old with both a religious and social event called a quinceañera,” the Arboretum said in an announcement. “In Texas, more than 50,000 quinceañeras are celebrated, according to Jolt. The ritual symbolizes a girl’s transformation from childhood into womanhood for the years to come. The party is the second part of the quinceañera with dancing, food, and music, ending with a father replacing his daughter’s flat-soled shoe with high heels. Individual rituals can vary between cultures, but the heart of the ‘Sweet 15’ remains as a coming-of-age ceremony.”

Throughout the garden, the Dallas Arboretum has planned activities celebrating Hispanic culture and traditions including vendors, music and demonstrations. Confirmed Hispanic-owned small businesses, all of which have been affected by the recent shutdown, include the following:

  • ABC Party Headquarters: apparel and party goods
  • Everyday Statement Jewelry: jewelry
  • Earthy Melina: Plants and crafts
  • Pretty Things Maker: handcrafts
  • Three Sweet Sisters: handcrafts
  • Food vendors: Casa Masa, Empanada Cookhouse, Josephine’s Cakes and Patrick’s Pops

“The Dallas Arboretum welcomes many graceful young women taking their quinceañera photos, so this is our way of bringing them back to share their traditions during Hispanic Heritage Month,” Alan Walne, Dallas Arboretum board chairman, said. “We look forward to hearing personal stories during this special coming of age moment.”

Those interested in applying to be a vendor can visit www.dallasarboretum.org/quinceanera or contact Marcela Castillo at [email protected] or 214.515.6677.

Participants must be 15 or 16 years old, and they must be accompanied by a legal guardian. There is no fee to enter, and the deadline to sign up and to send the completed form is August 28. Visit www.dallasarboretum.org/quinceanera for more information and application to apply. Each participant receives two additional general garden admission tickets for family to attend the event as well. Those selected to participate in the fashion show will be required to attend a dress rehearsal on September 5.

Board member and Diversity Initiatives Chair, Tatiana Higdon, leads this committee. Additional members planning the celebration include Megan Ames, John Cuellar, Suzette Hinds, Amanda Moreno Lake, Ben Leal, Bella Molina, Regina Montoya, Victor Ornelas, Minerva Rodriguez, and Lourdes Spinola.

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