Six foster youth celebrate quinceañeras at Castaic Sports Complex

The coronavirus pandemic has canceled many events, but plans to bring fairytale-like celebrations to fruition came true for six Latina foster youth who celebrated their quinceañeras Saturday in Castaic.

Glitter, sequins, diamonds and shiny crowns all shone brightly as the teens strutted down the grass in their large ball gowns, making their way to a shaded portion of the Castaic Sports Complex parking lot, which hosted a celebratory car parade.

Saturday’s event marked the sixth annual quinceañera celebration by the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services and, which offers resources and party-planning content.

“Oftentimes, some of the things that I think others might take for granted are family traditions,” said Ginger Pryor, chief deputy director of Children and Family Services. “Things of that nature don’t always get to happen for young people in foster care. They might be in homes that have different cultures, so it’s important that we’re doing everything that we can to honor (traditions).”

A quinceañera is not just a 15th birthday, rather a traditional coming-of-age ritual in Latino communities that signifies the transition from childhood to young adulthood celebrated before a community with a religious blessing, a waltz, food and entertainment.

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