In celebration of the beauty and diversity of cultures found from México to Central and South America to Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and beyond, the Aquarium of the Pacific will host its twenty-first annual Baja Splash Cultural Festival on Saturday and Sunday, September 24 and 25, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The event takes places during “National Hispanic Heritage Month” and features cultural dance and music, environmental education programs in English and Spanish, and booths from participating organizations.
During this year’s festival the Aquarium will present its Heritage Award to Latino Outdoors in honor of the organization’s commitment to inclusion, making nature accessible, and empowering community members while celebrating their important cultural connections to the environment. The award ceremony with Latino Outdoors Founder José González will take place on Saturday, September 24, at 2:30 p.m. in the Honda Pacific Visions Theater.
Folk dancers and musicians representing various cultures from México, Central and South America, Cuba, and beyond will share their traditions during the festival. Participants include those who have been part of Baja Splash for more than two decades, including Danza Azteca Cultural Ketzaliztli and musician and teaching artist Martin Espino, who will lead interactive music programs for everyone.
The Aquarium of the Pacific gives special thanks to the Bernadett Family for supporting the Little Ocean Explorers programming for its youngest learners during the festival. This special program will be offered in the Aquarium’s Ocean Theater on both days in English and Spanish. Also, as part of the festival, everyone can participate in an ocean conservation-themed lotería game in English and Spanish with prizes in the Ocean Theater on Sunday, September 25, at 3:40 p.m. Visitors can also explore booths from organizations like Caracol Museo de Ciencias (science museum in Ensenada), Los Angeles Zoo, and the Museum of Latin American Art, which will be sharing a free take-home arts and crafts activity. For those who are unable to attend in person, the Aquarium will offer a free live-streaming program on Sunday, September 25, at 2:30 p.m. with Danza Azteca Cultural Ketzaliztli. It will also release a special program on its YouTube channel starting on Saturday, September 24, featuring Martin Espino and the Aquarium’s Pacific Pals puppet named Axl the axolotl.
The name Baja Splash was inspired by Baja California, Mexico’s Gulf of California, which is one of the most important wildlife havens in the world. Visitors can learn more about this important ecosystem and how people can help protect it by exploring the Aquarium’s Gulf of California exhibition created with World Wildlife Fund México. The festival is included with Aquarium admission. General admission is $36.95 per adult (ages 12+), $26.95 per child (ages 3-11), $33.95 per senior (ages 62+), and free for Aquarium members and children under age three. All festival elements are subject to change. Advance reservations are required for everyone. No walk-ups. Safety is the Aquarium’s top priority. For the most current safety information, please visit aquariumofpacific.org/visit/aquarium_safety. For more information on the festival and for reservations, please visit aquariumofpacific.org/events/info/baja_splash_cultural_festival/.
FESTIVAL SPONSOR: The Bernadett Family
AQUARIUM: The nonprofit Aquarium of the Pacific is a community gathering place where diverse cultures and the arts are celebrated and where important challenges facing our planet are explored. The Aquarium is dedicated to conserving and building nature and nature’s services by building the interactions between and among peoples. Home to more than 12,000 animals, Aquarium exhibits include Coral Reefs: Nature’s Underwater Cities, Pacific Visions, Shark Lagoon, and the June Keyes Penguin Habitat. Beyond its animal exhibits, the Aquarium offers educational programs for people of all ages, including First Wednesdays featuring guest speakers. The Aquarium offers memberships with unlimited FREE admission for 12 months and other special benefits. To make a donation to help support the Aquarium, please visit Pacific.to/donate. To visit, advance reservations are required for everyone and can be made at aquariumofpacific.org or by calling (562) 590-3100. The Aquarium of the Pacific is located at 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802.