By Krista Gabbert
To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden features its second annual Quinceañera Fashion Show on September 14, and those 15- and 16-year-old young ladies interested in participating can apply online now through August 23 at dallasarboretum.org/quinceanera.
At 10 a.m., selected participants walk the stage in Rosine Hall, showcasing their beautiful and colorful quinceañera dresses and share with the guests their favorite traditions and plans of the future.
Afterwards, they parade down the paseo, allowing even more guests to see their stunning colorful dresses. This event is free for all paid garden guests.
Among several Spanish-speaking countries and Hispanic communities around the world, girls celebrate turning 15 years old with both a religious and social event called a quinceañera. The ritual symbolizes a girl’s transformation from childhood into womanhood for the years to come. The party is the second part of the quinceañera, with dancing, food and music, ending with a father replacing his daughter’s flat-soled shoe with high heels. Individual rituals can vary between cultures, but the heart of the “Sweet 15” remains as a coming-of-age ceremony.
Alan Walne, Dallas Arboretum board chairman, said, “The Dallas Arboretum serves as a beautiful backdrop for these lovely young ladies getting their photos taken throughout the year in their colorful dresses, yet many of us are not familiar with the customs of a quinceañera. By highlighting them as they prepare to celebrate their quinceañera, we will learn more about this tradition and their personal stories during this special coming of age moment.”
Adriana Lopez, host of Telemundo’s daily show, “Acceso Total,” is the emcee for the fashion show. During the event, there will be door prizes, including a grand package consisting of hair, makeup, photography and a quinceañera dress for a soon-to-be Quinceañera.
Throughout the main garden and A Tasteful Place, the Dallas Arboretum has planned activities related to Hispanic culture and traditions. Adding to the festive atmosphere are performances by Ballet Folklorico Ben-Hits and the Latin Boys Cadets. Hispanic vendors include Empanada Cookhouse, Topo Chico, Hive Coffee Co., Cuates Kitchen, Enrique D’Altamirano Fashion Designer, ABC Party HQ and more.
All vendors are located throughout the Entry Plaza from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. At noon, Mexico Lindo Restaurant performs a cooking demonstration at A Tasteful Place’s Test Pavilion. Those interested in applying to be a vendor can visit dallasarboretum.org/quinceanera.
Participants must be 15 or 16 years old, and they must be accompanied by a legal guardian. There is no fee to enter, and the deadline to sign up and to send the completed form is August 23. Each participant receives two additional general garden admission tickets for family to attend the event as well.
Those selected to participate in the fashion show will be required to attend a dress rehearsal on September 7 at noon.
The advisory committee selecting the young ladies based on their essays and completed applications include Rodriguez, Suzette Hinds, John Cuellar, Victor Ornelas, Lesley Lake, Bella Molina and Jorge Baldor.