MERIDEN — The Mexican Soccer League of Meriden has been a staple of the community for over a decade, and the league hosted a Mexican Independence Day celebration on Sunday for the first time.
Mexican Independence Day was Friday, but the league had the celebration at Columbus Park after its regular Sunday soccer games.
“It just gives us great pride, it just shows and helps showcase what Meriden is comprised of and all the different religions, different ethnicities all in our one community,” Meriden Mayor Kevin Scarpati said. “Having this Mexican Soccer League is just is a great way to get people involved.”
Families from all over the area converged on the park to celebrate with friends. Some brought their own food, while others grabbed something to eat from food trucks.
League President Alejandro Gonzalez said he expected over 400 people to attend throughout the day.
“It was in my mind to do it a couple of years ago,” Gonzalez said. “Now I got the opportunity to do it this year.”
Kids ran around passing the soccer ball, and some even brought guitars to play music.
“It’s an important day in Mexico so they will do the traditional,” Marisol Estrada said. “What they call the ‘Grito,’ they are going to be hollering who they are happy about and celebrating that way.”
Gonzalez said that local businesses were eager to help out and sponsor the event.
“He’s been wanting to do it for a couple of years,” Estrada said. “It turns out this year he contacted the right people, went to the businesses and they helped with the cost.”
When Gonzalez was told that the stage for the mariachi band wouldn’t be ready, he built one himself.
Though the event was in celebration of Mexican Independence Day, Gonzalez said the event was for the entire community.
“I don’t care who comes, what language you speak just I want to keep together the community,” he said. “That is my plan.”
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