ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – As Hispanic Heritage Month draws to a close, Abilene celebrated with a grand finale on Saturday.

It was a celebration of 15 years, or the quinceanera, for the annual Business Mercado. Attendees enjoyed performances by mariachis and ballet folklorico groups, showcasing Hispanic culture.

The event also offered an opportunity for Abilene businesses to connect with the Hispanic community, which makes up approximately one-third of the Abilene population. Ricardo Gutierrez, co-chair of the Business Mercado, explained the significance of the past 15 years for the Abilene Hispanic Business Council.

“In the last 15 years, Hispanics have shown our dedication, our strength, and our perseverance. 15 years has shown that, and we will continue to do that in the next 15, 20, 30 years to come. That’s what it means for us to do a Quinceanera,” Gutierrez shared.

To kick off the event, Abilene City Council member Kyle McAlister presented a proclamation from Mayor Weldon Hurt, designating the day as Business Mercado Day.