Sunset Park continued to display its diversity during the holiday season as the neighborhood hosted its first annual Posadas y Pastorelas Celebration at Industry City on Sunday, December 21.
The full-day event, presented by Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders, a non-profit organization that celebrates Mexican culture, has held the popular event in Manhattan in past years.
“Posadas y Pastorelas is a great family event where Mano a Mano commemorates the journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem the way it has been done in Mexico since colonial times,” explained Juan Carlos Aguirre, executive director of the organization. “We wanted to bring out the child inside the parents and adults have as much fun as the children.”
Director of Community Engagement for Industry City Cristal Rivera was thrilled in bringing the celebration to Sunset. “Our perspective with Juan was to focus on building good relationships and form a bridge with the community of Sunset Park, where there is a large Mexican community and it was great event to celebrate something relating to them. It was really amazing.”
The event, which lasted nearly five hours, included piñatas and crafting for children, food provided by local eatery Tacos El Bronco, a workshop where attendees make the Tsikuri, a traditional Wixarika (Huichol) yarn-weaving object known as the Eye of God and the Posada, a singing holiday procession through the streets.
Rivera was also pleased to inform Sunset residents about Industry City and all the facility has to offer all year round. “It was nice for us to host it for the community and have people say they want to come back again. It’s great for community to know we’re here in space and part of neighborhood,” she said. “They got a sense of what’s happening and what we’re trying to build.”
Although the celebration included tons of activities, seeing the children smiling was a highlight for Rivera, along with the piñata. “The piñata breaking was pretty fun. It was the most fun of day. There were lots of people coming in and out. They did some crafting. To me, it was amazing seeing families and little kids running around in our space and singing and dancing. There were holiday songs. It was great for the kids.”
“All our events are opportunities to learn, enjoy and share our culture among all participants,” added Aguirre.
“We want people to feel like it’s just the beginning,” added Rivera. “This was just a kick off and we are in it for long haul feel.”