Home Local News La Movida Radio’s Viva México Festival turns 22 this Sunday

La Movida Radio’s Viva México Festival turns 22 this Sunday

A crowd gatheres at Breese Stevens Field for a previous Viva México Festival.

Viva México Festival, the annual cultural and family event promoting Mexican heritage in Madison, is back again in Madison for its 22nd year. La Movida 94.5FM/1480AM and Mid-West Family Broadcasting will host the annual celebration on Sunday, Sept. 17, at Breese Stevens Field on Madison’s near east side.

“A lot of food, a lot of music, and a lot of party,” says Luis Montoto, co-owner of La Movida Radio along with wife Lupita, describing what’s in store for Viva México. “It should be a fun day.

“It’s one of the few events where everybody can come out and celebrate. We’ve kind of transitioned not just from the Mexican Independence Day celebration, but to make it more inviting to people from the other countries in Central and South America who also celebrate their independence,” he continues. “There’s been a large influx of new, Spanish-speaking communities from Central and South America … countries like Nicaragua and Venezuela to Honduras and Guatemala. That’s a huge influx, actually … in Madison, in Wisconsin, and throughout the United States. We want them all to feel welcome at Viva México Festival.”

For many in Madison, Viva México Festival signifies the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) where multiple countries celebrate their declared independence days including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, Mexico, Chile and Belize. The annual celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day will feature delicious Mexican food, traditional Latino folk dances, musical performers, exhibits, face painting, and tables with non-profit and cultural area information.

Viva Mexico Festival at Breese Stevens Stadium

The “Car Caravan Parade” kicks off the event at 1 p.m. With the assistance of the Madison Police Department, Fitchburg Police and Fire Department, and Amigos en Azul (Latino police officers in Madison), decorated cars will gather in the parking lot of Madison College Goodman South Campus, 2429 Perry St., and make their way to Breese Stevens Field, 917 E. Mifflin St.

“One of the things that is changing this year is that our Car Caravan Parde will start from the Madison College South Campus parking lot instead of the Villager Mall,” Lupita Montoto says. “The parade will start at noon and people will leave the parking lot of Madison College and make their way up Park Street and around the state Capitol to Breese Stevens Field.”

Participants in the parade will have a chance to win cash prizes for the “Best Decorated Car” and the official Viva México Festival 2023 T-shirt.

Once everybody is at Breese Stevens Stadium, the program will begin at 2 p.m. 

“This is an event that we spend quite a bit of time organizing including the music and performances. It is free to the public. We think that it’s important that people can go to an event like this and not have to pay,” Lupita Montoto says. “The event kind of signals the end of summer and the beginning of fall for many people. The whole community comes together with the big car parade and the huge event outside. 

“It’s an incredible chance to build community and have fun in a family-oriented way,” she adds. “I love that. Breese Stevens Field is a great location for a wonderful celebration.” 

The Car Caravan






Another highlight of the Viva México Festival is the official inauguration celebration, which will be facilitated by Ambassador Claudia Franco from the Consulate of México in Milwaukee. There will be a special presentation of the three flags and singing of the national anthems of México and of the United States.

That will be followed by a presentation of the proclamation of the event given by the city of Madison and Fitchburg Common Councils along with Madison community leaders.

“This is one of our festivals where we have a very strong collaboration with Ambassador Claudia Franco of the Mexican consulate in Milwaukee, who will be leading the official ceremony,” Lupita Montoto says. “The proclamation and then el grito are highlights of the event for many, so it’s very nice to have them coming from Milwaukee to Madison to make this official and important part of their program.”

La Movida Radio has encouraged local non-profit organizations to be a part of the Viva México Festival and they will be offering information about their services to the public at Breese Stevens Field.

“We will have more than 10 nonprofit organizations that are going to be there on-site aside from sponsors and food vendors and music,” Lupita Montoto says. “So it’s gonna be fun.”

“The atmosphere is one of the things that makes Viva Mexico so very special,” Luis Montoto adds. “And even though the event is centered around the Mexican Independence Day celebration, we always include everybody at this festival so everybody feels welcome and comfortable joining in on the day’s festivities.” 


For more information about the Viva México Festival 2023, visit La Movida’s website. To get involved in the Viva México Festival, contact Lupita Montoto at (608)441-3768 or [email protected].