A celebration of Mexican culture, tradition and family took over the streets of Orange on Sunday, as part of Chapman University’s Heartbeat of Mexico Festival. 

The Musco Center for the Arts has been hosting the festival since 2016 in cooperation with the Chapman University LatinX Staff and Faculty Forum. The event hosted more than 15 community acts with dancers and musicians.  

“It really represents who they are in different regions of Mexico, bringing all that together in one place to let us really appreciate how lucky we are to live in Southern California with that rich history,” Jen Marchese Ernst, the director of Programming for the Musco Center for the Arts, told KTLA.  

As pride celebrations were happening in other parts of SoCal, the Heartbeat of Mexico festival organizers said they wanted to bring a pride element to the festivities with emcee Kay Sedia, a self-described “drag queen Tupperware diva.”  

“The music and the culture go hand in hand,” Sedia said. “I grew up listening to this type of music. It was the background of my life, and it wasn’t until I became an adult that I learned to really, truly appreciate…the art form of it all.”

Heartbeat of Mexico Festival
A band seen playing at the Heartbeat of Mexico festival held in Orange on June 4, 2023. (KTLA)

Ernst said the festival is important because it provides a rich cultural experience for those who in the community who might not have had much exposure to the long-held traditions of Mexican Americans.  

KTLA photojournalist Phil Ige reports.