In Spanish-speaking countries, it’s tradition for a girl who turns 15 to celebrate a quinceañera. The celebration symbolizes a girl’s transformation from childhood into womanhood.
As part of Hispanic Heritage month, The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden will allow selected participants to embrace the tradition by hosting the first Quinceañera Fashion Show on Saturday, Sept. 22.
Girls, who are age 15 or 16, can either email Mayra Salazar at email@example.com or visit the Arboretum’s website to download a free application. Applicants who submit to Salazar’s email will be notified of the selection during the week of Sept. 10. The application deadline was Aug. 31, but the date has been extended to Friday, Sept. 7.
“We often see these beautiful young ladies get their portraits taken at the Dallas Arboretum, yet many of us are not familiar with the traditions and customs of a quinceañera,” Mark Wolf, Dallas Arboretum board chairman, says in a press release. “By showcasing them as they prepare to celebrate their quinceañera, we will learn more about their culture, customs and personal stories during a special coming of age moment.”
Applicants will need to submit a quinceañera portrait photo in their application. They will also need to answer a few short essay questions. The questions include describing your heritage and more. A committee of board members and community leaders will select the girls based on their essay and completed applications.
Once selected, participants must attend a dress rehearsal Saturday, Sept. 15. Participants must have a legal guardian to attend both dress rehearsal and the day of the show.
At 10 a.m., the selected girls will walk the stage in Rosine Hall, showcasing their quinceañera dresses.
"After the fashion show, the girls will parade in their beautiful gowns down the 'Paseo,' led by Mariachi Águila’s de UNT, so that everyone in the garden that day can see them,” Kristi Trail, Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden director of public events, wrote in an email to the Observer.
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The event will also have a quinceañera-style party that will include music, dance and food. Guests can go to the Arboretum’s Entry Plaza, where they will find Hispanic vendors and performances by Ballet Folklorico Hispano de Dallas and Spanish guitarist, Daniel Rodriguez.
Trail says that they anticipate that the event to be yearly. The goal is to celebrate the tradition of the culture.
“At the Dallas Arboretum, we host hundreds of girls celebrating this milestone in their lives as they take photos and videos in their lovely dresses, and the Quinceañera Fashion Show is one way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by highlighting this tradition,” Trail says. “We want to educate and celebrate the many cultures, traditions and contributions of the Hispanic community, and we see this inaugural event as one way to do it. Adriana Lopez, host and reporter with Telemundo, will serve as our emcee.”
Fashion Show Schedule:
10-11 a.m. - Selected participants will walk the stage in Rosine Hall
11 a.m.-noon - Mariachi Águilas de UNT will lead the selected participants in a parade down the paseo allowing even more guests to see their stunning dresses
11 a.m.-3 p.m. - Vendors & Live Music by Daniel Rodriguez Spanish Guitarist in the Plaza
Noon-1 p.m. - Tamales Over Texas Demonstration and Sale in A Tasteful Place Test Pavilion
1-2 p.m. - Ballet Folklorico Dance performance in the Entry Plaza
General admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for children 2-12 and free for Arboretum members and children two and younger. On-site parking is $15; pre-purchased online parking is $9.