By Liz Parker

Hispanic Heritage Month, which started in 1968, runs from September 15 through October 15 this year, and in Detroit and its surrounding areas, there are plenty of ways to celebrate. September 15 is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. 55 million people, or 17 percent of the U.S. population, are of Hispanic or Latino origin, which is a large increase from the 2000 U.S. census, which registered the Hispanic population at 35.3 million, or 13 percent. Check out the list below for ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Detroit.

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Dine In Mexicantown
Southwest Detroit, MI

If you drive to Mexicantown, you will not be disappointed with the variety of Latino restaurants, which would be a great way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Suggestions include Xochimilco (3409 Bagley St.) or Los Galanes (3362 Bagley) for some authentic Mexican cuisine. Don’t forget to stop at La Gloria Bakery (3345 Bagley) for dessert – it carries a variety of cookies, cakes, and other sweet treats (and be aware that it’s $5 minimum for credit card purchases).

Learn How To Salsa
Cantina Diablo’s
100 S. Main St.
Royal Oak, MI 48067
(248) 543-4300 hosts a salsa night every Friday and Saturday at Cantina Diablo’s, in Royal Oak, as well as Sundays at Rosie O’Grady’s in Ferndale. There is no cover all night, and dance lessons start at 10 p.m. VIP bottle service is also available, and there are chef’s food specials as well. “Latin Night” goes from 10 p.m. to 2 p.m., every Friday and Saturday.

Dream Makers’ Gala
Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation
2901 Grand River Ave.
Detroit, MI 48201
(313) 967-4880

Date: Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The DHDC’s 20th annual Dream Maker’s Gala will take place on September 28 from 5 to 10 p.m. at MotorCity Casino’s Sound Board venue, and is a great way to support a local nonprofit. The DHDC provides bilingual services to people with community-centered programs, and 75 percent of its staff was born and raised in Southwest Detroit; all of them come from low-income communities of color, as well. The event will kick off at 5 p.m. with a VIP reception, followed by dinner, cocktails, a silent auction, and dancing at 6 p.m., and it concludes at 10 p.m.

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Related: Best Ways to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Detroit (2013)

Ballet Folklórico de Detroit
Detroit Institute of Arts
5200 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 833-7900

Date: Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

On October 15, the DIA will be celebrating el Día de Muertos with Ballet Folklórico de Detroit, a Mexican dance group based in Southwest Detroit, that aims to preserve Mexican culture and promote positive growth within Detroit. Many traditional dances will be performed while wearing costumes from different regions of Mexico. This event is free and is open to everyone, including families with children of all ages, and will take place at Rivera Court inside the DIA.

2017 “Sounds of Music” House Concert Series
Musique Noire
Detroit, MI

Date: Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

The final concert in the Boston-Edison “Sounds of Music” house concert series features Musique Noire, a strings and percussion ensemble that was started in 2005. The group’s members, led by violinist Michelle May, are from Detroit and Chicago, and play world jazz music. Their debut CD, “Good Hair,” featured original songs with influences from funk, Latin, world music, and jazz. The concert includes dinner and drinks, and it begins at 7:30 p.m. on October 7th, with doors opening at 7:00 p.m.

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Related: Best Ways to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in Detroit (2014)