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Beardstown Fiesta

What do you do when you're thousands of miles from home? You bring a little bit of home to you.

For years, Mexican immigrants have come to Beardstown in search of a good job and a better life. As they settled down and became a part of the community, they brought vibrant dance and song to this agricultural town in western Illinois.

September heralds the Mexican Independence Day Festival for the town of almost 6,000. The city is brightened by parades, concerts and folk dancing, including performances by the acclaimed Mexican Folkloric Dance Company of Chicago."

Related Links

Watch the Mexican Folkloric Dance Company perform during Arts Across Illinois' 2001 Center Stage arts showcase.

Learn more about Luna Negra Dance Theatre a modern dance troupe that infuses its performances with a Latino twist.

Read Copley News Service's award-winning and unflinching account of the troubled times Beardstown faced as Mexican immigrants came in droves to this small Midwestern town.

Watch "Farmingville," a film from PBS's documentary showcase "P.O.V." about the explosive growth in Hispanic population in many areas across this country and the complicated choices these communities sometimes face.

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Learn how Beardstown, Illinois has given hope to countless immigrant families, and enriched its own culture in the process.


Related Podcasts

Dance Podcast

Festivals Podcast

Music Podcast

World/Trad. Podcast


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A dancer in traditional Mexican dress.

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Dancers performing at the Mexican Independence Day celebration.


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