Heritage University Mexican Independence Day

A dancer performs at Heritage University's Mexican Independence Day celebration, Sept. 15, 2018.

TOPPENISH, Wash. — Heritage University plans a September celebration of El Grito de Independencia, or Mexican Independence Day.

The second annual event commemorates the Cry of Dolores, a historical event dating back to 1810, when a Catholic priest rang a church bell in the Mexican city of Dolores Hidalgo, formerly Dolores. This signaled the start of the decade-long Mexican War of Independence from Spain.

To recognize the event, Heritage University will host a free public festival celebrating Mexican independence. It will include games, piñatas, food, beverages, traditional dancers, mariachis, live music and a re-enactment of the historical event.

The festival will take place from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 14, at Heritage University at 3240 Fort Road in Toppenish.

Reach Janelle Retka at jretka@yakimaherald.com or on Twitter: @janelleretka