Bilingual Programs Chapter

Celebremos Mis Quince Años / A Quinceañera Fair

A Program for Young Adults

For many Hispanic girls, their 15th birthday marks their “coming of age” and families often celebrate with a quinceañera. The quinceañera is a major event and includes a special dress, a church celebration, a court of 14 female attendants and their male escorts, and a reception. Planning for an event of this scale can often take a year or more, just like a wedding. A quinceañera fair would be a fun way for families to learn new ways to celebrate their daughters’ special events. Boys could get information on what is expected of them as escorts for the court.

Books to Show and Booktalk

  • Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa.
  • Quinceañera: Celebrando los quince by Elizabeth King.
  • Quinceañera: Celebrating Fifteen by Elizabeth King.
  • Quinceañera Means Sweet 15 by Veronica Chambers.
  • Quinceañera!: The Essential Guide to Planning the Perfect Sweet Fifteen Celebration by Michele Salcedo.
  • Sweet Fifteen by Diane Gonzales Bertrand.


Display books about quinceañeras, party planning, and crafts on a table with vases of silk or real flowers. Invite a collector to display quinceañera dolls and other mementos.


Place flower vases on the tables around the program room. Put party favors on each participant’s chair along with pencils and paper. Decorate the chairs with paper flowers and crepe paper streamers in pastel colors.


Locate a bakery that prepares quinceañeras cakes and serve the cake during your program. Serve punch in plastic wine glasses that teens can keep as souvenirs. These are available at most party supply stores.

Audio Recordings

  • Play the CD Celebrando quinceañera by Various Artists.
  • Play “La quinceañera” on Fiestas!: A Year of Latin American Songs and Celebrations by Jose-Luis Orozco.


Make a Hat Capia

Capias are small pins that are pinned on the quinceañera’s doll’s dress. The doll represents the birthday girl’s last doll. Replicas of the pins are given to guests at the reception as a rememberance. Obtain a sample doll from a party supply store that carries quinceañera supplies, or purchase one on-line from The Joyful Events Store at

  • Small fabric sun hats, approximately 2” in diameter, available at most craft stores in the doll section.
  • Tiny silk roses in pastel colors
  • 1/8” wide satin ribbon in colors to match the roses
  • Assorted beads
  • “Miss Quince” and “15” decorations
  • Charms
  • Lace or fabric trim
  • Tulle or other trim items
  • Pinbacks
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue or hot glue gun

Cut the satin ribbon into 6” lengths. Tie a length of satin ribbon around the hat and secure it to the hat with a drop of glue. Cover the knot with a silk rose. Glue a length of trim or lace around the edge of the hat’s brim. Decorate the rest of the hat with flowers, beads, charms, or other trim items. Hold the hat so the ends of the satin ribbon hang down. Turn it over and glue a pin back onto the back of the brim of the hat. Allow the glue to dry completely. Teens wear the pin as a momento of the celebration.


The daughter and father dance the first dance at a quinceañera. It is a waltz. Invite a dance instructor or volunteer to teach the girls and boys how to waltz. If you can’t find a teacher, Dance at offers step-by-step instructions, as well as background information on the waltz.

Guest Speakers

Invite a variety of local businesses to host tables at your quinceañeras fair. These might include a bakery that handles quinceañeras, a mariachi band, a florist, and a formal wear store. Invite someone from a craft store to demonstrate how to make party favors for the reception and a party planner to share tips on planning the reception. Invite someone from a print shop or custom printer to show invitations and other paper goods.

Web Sites

A Hispanic Girl’s Coming of Age 10_a_hispanic_girl%27s.htm

The El Paso Community College’s “Borderlands” Project introduces the quinceañera celebration.

Professional Resources
This site has a quinceañera section that offers small plastic letters and ornaments for party favors, as well as balloons and other decorations.
Step-by-step instructions for learning to waltz.

The Joyful Events Store
This site sells quinceañera dolls and other accessories and provides background information on the celebration.


Texas Reading Club 2005 Programming Manual / Go Wild...Read!

Published by the Library Development Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Page last modified: June 14, 2011