Bailey Street near Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights. Photo by Amtomio Mejías-Rentas

It wasn’t hard for councilmember Kevin de León to pick a date for the naming ceremony of Vicente Fernández – the ceremony, his office announced Friday, will take place on Sept. 16, at 5 pm, at Mariachi Plaza.

The date is significant because it’s Mexican Independence Day. Fernández, who died in December, was considered an iconic figure of Mexican music, known worldwide as “el rey de la ranchera.”

From that day on, a two-block segment of Bailey St. will bear the name of Vicente Fernández. It’s adjacent to Mariachi Plaza, a gathering place for musicians who play the style of music Fernández was known for.

The naming of the street is not void of controversy – some Boyle Heights residents oppose the decision by the Los Angeles City Council, proposed by de León, because of homophobic and sexist comments and behaviors attributed to the famous ranchera singer.

In a press release Friday, de León’s office said the Sept. 16 ceremony will feature a “special guest.”

Vicente Fernandez Jr, the honoree’s oldest son, attended a naming ceremony last month for a Pico Rivera street named after the singer. A more famous son of Vicente Fernández, singer Alejandro Fernández, happens to be scheduled to perform the night of Sept.16 in Las Vegas – less than an hour flight away from Los Angeles.

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Boyle Heights Beat

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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