The Fiesta Celebration

Mexican Fiesta -1yr- Pin the Tail on the Burro




San Antonio, Texas, US


August 2008


Special Mention

For my daughter's 1st birthday I wanted to throw her a Mexican Fiesta.  I am Mexican so it was important for me to try to keep as much authenticity to this party where I could.

I printed the invitations myself. I like to look up and copy ideas from the internet.  Using my American Greetings software, I chose a decorative Mexican border which had musical instruments, confetti, chile peppers and inserted clipart of a Mariachi musician playing a guitar. I printed the invitation in Spanish and included a separate insert for the linguistically challenged" which translated the invitation in English.   

I had requested that my guest come dressed in their Mexican best.  Many of my girls (mommas and daughters) came simply dressed in long white skirts and sandals with a colorful top or red white green top and a flower or bow in their hair. My daughters and I were dressed in traditional mexican dresses. I live in San Antonio I just headed to the tourist shopping areas and got my dress. My daughter's were red white and green outfits made by a family member. 

Decorations:  I made papel picado which are the traditional Mexican banners colorful paper punched out with images and hung out on string.  I found templates online just print secure to tissue paper cut off excess paper and using scissors or craft knife. I used a utility knife. They are very delicate so make sure you lay them flat until you are ready to fasten them to string or yarn and hang out in your party area.  

I covered my tables in plain white table covers. I purchased a colorful striped paper table runners in vibrant colors to resemble a serape which is a Mexican blanket. I then sprinkled paper confetti on the tables.  

The food included chips and tradional salsa (not the chunky stuff from the store) My brother-in-law makes the best home made salsa. For the food we had taquitos (with guac and sour cream) cheese enchiladas chalupas mole rice and beans. It was a lot of food but we had a lot of people.  I also made guacamole and pico de gallo. I made Aguas Frescas which is the traditional "punch" if you will in Mexico in a variety of flavors including horchata jamaica mango and limonada (I found them in the latin food aisle at my walmart. They are powdered drinks just add water.

Although the party was for my one year old I couldn't resist buying the Mexican beer variety pack my bro told me about from Sam's which included Dos Equis Sol and Tecate.  You have to purchase Corona separately. I displayed some of the beers in a tin basin filled with ice (the rest in cooler) and put out a bowl with lime wedges and a couple of salt shakers.    

I didn't have a lot of games. we played pin the tail on "el burro" (the donkey) I found a game for $.99 at my favorite local party store Casa Guero. I believe they have a website www.casagueroonline.com .  I bought the table runner fake mustaches sombreros and fiesta-style table skirt from here.  

We also played Marichical chairs which is basically musical chairs to mariachi music.  We had two rounds: the children then the adults. I always love making the adults get in on the kiddie fun. I tried to entice adult participation with a $5 Starbucks gift card (I got one for free at work!) but when it got towards the end of the game no one was thinking about the prize...they were doing it for the fun.  My entertainment stole the show: I made my brothers (b-day girl's uncles) memorize a Mariachi song (about 3 weeks prior) which they then lip synched at the party.

Though they don't know how to play they all own guitars so they pretended to play and sing along to the music.  I dressed them up as mariachis of course. They wore black pants and white shirts wore the fake mustaches and sombreros I bought. Mariachi pants have decorative details along their sides. So to make these I simply hot-glued googly eyes (like the ones for arts and crafts that move) to large saftey pins one eye on either end of the pin. Once dry I then spray painted them gold but you may use silver. Once dry I safety pinned about 30 finished pins on the side of the pant legs. Try to leave about 3 inches or so at the bottom of the pants (for the bunching that pants do) and make sure you have pins up to the top of the leg right under hip. It was easiest to fold the pant by the seam attach pins and straighten out pants and make adjustment later.

I bought material to make a bow that goes around their neck but lost it so my cousin took a red napkin bunch in the middle to create a bow and attached to their shirt with tape at the last minute. Her 8 year old daughter and son danced "El Jarabe Tapatio" (the mexican hat dance) and each lip synched a mariachi song on their own.  They take mexican folkloric clases during their summers in Mexico visiting family so I took advantage of their talents. But Youtube also has a lot of videos on Ballet Folklorico dances which I'm sure one may be able to pick up the steps from. 

For the cake I ordered from our favorite cake lady.  We ordered Tres Leches. Although the frosting used for Tres leches cake is simply white we added the flag colors for a little color.  We sang "Las Mananitas" to her which is the traditional song in place of happy birthday. For the linguistically challenged I printed the lyrics and passed them out. I thought of also printing out the lyrics in PHONETIC form for the REALLY linguistically challenged but didn't.  We followed this with "happy birthday".  

Of course we had a pinata filled with candies from Mexico.  My cousin travels there often and bought a ton. The pinata a satellite star which is the tradition but you may use a donkey. While hitting the pinata we had the kids sing the traditional pinata breaking song which goes "dale dale dale. No pierdas el tino. Porque si lo pierdes pierdes el camino. Dale dale dale. Dale y no le dio. Quitale la venda porque sigo yo. Se acabo"

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