The Fiesta de Amistad Parade was held at the beginning of October to bring together the greater Tolleson community in celebration of family. In addition to the festival and live music, there is a parade every year where organizations and groups show off their themed or decorated cars and floats. City of Tolleson JAG Works participated this year and decorated their float to the theme of “Somos Familia.”
For about a week, high school students from Tolleson Union High School that are JAG Works participants went to the Parks & Recreation Center to prepare their float for the parade. They collaborated in creating pillars for papel picados, wrapping the float, making large Mexican paper flowers, and an ofrenda to honor loved ones who had passed.
“My favorite part was working with Sonia [Tolleson JAG Works Coordinator] and all the other teens. We got to collaborate and bond together while we created something nice for the community that we were proud to show,” said Tolleson JAG Works Vice President and Mayor of Teen Council Arianna.
“For me, I think it’s a cool way to get everyone in the community together, just watch these cool attractions down our street, and seeing everyone come back after COVID was so cool. Overall, our community is very together and united, and it was cool to see everyone come together to celebrate Tolleson,” said Tolleson JAG Works Historian Yulianna.
In choosing the theme, they decided Somos Familia best represented their experience of living in Tolleson for most of their lives.
“The City of Tolleson just feels like a community, most of us have lived here our entire lives and it just felt right. We all feel as if we are family. Most of us have known each other and the community is really tight-knit, and that is what kind of guided us towards that theme,” Arianna said.
“Everyone decided to give a picture of their grandparents, siblings, or someone that has passed in their lives. It was really pretty and nice to honor those,” Yulianna said.
When they found out they had won 1st Place, they were honored by the recognition of their hard work and dedication to making the float the best it could be. Overall, the float in its entirety took about 12 hours to complete.
“We put in the hard work so we sort of believed that we deserved it. It just felt really good to get recognition for something that we worked so hard on,” Arianna said.
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