PACOIMA, Calif. — It’s the first time since the pandemic started that Samantha Padilla and her friend Alexis Sandoval have been able to perform with their folkloric group.

"I definitely miss dancing on stage in front of a whole bunch of people,” said Padilla. She and her ballet folklorico “Joyas Divinas Del Valle” are recording a performance that will air on the night of September 15.

What You Need To Know

  • "El Grito" is a local event that brings Angelenos together typically at city hall to celebrate Mexican Independence Day

  • The event will be virtual this year and can be streamed September 15 from 7-9 p.m. by logging on to

  • Money raised during the telethon will go to help those Angelenos hit hardest financially by COVID-19

  • El Grito serves as the official kick-off celebration for Latino Heritage Month

They are among many performers taking the stage for El Grito 2020, which typically brings Angelenos together at the steps of City Hall to celebrate Mexican Independence Day.

“El Grito De Dolores” took place in the town of Dolores in Mexico, a call for the people of Mexico to rise up against the authorities of New Spain. Now, “el Grito” consists of politicians leading the people through a special cheer to celebrate the heroes of the Mexican independence.

The event is virtual this year, and safety measures are put in place that include social distancing and having to wear a mask — even if you’re dancing. "The only thing strange about it is the mask and social distancing, but I’m just really excited to be able to be back with all my friends," said Padilla.

Along with the event going virtual, the majority of the show is prerecorded, with the telethon serving to raise funds for those Angelenos hit hardest financially by COVID-19.

Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez is among the city leaders hosting the telethon. "So many families are working in farming, they’re working in the restaurant industry both of whom have been severely impacted by the pandemic," she said. "So this is our opportunity to support those who are critical to getting us what we need."

As for Padilla, she’s just happy to be back on stage. "I just loved everything about it and it was part of my culture, so just the hair, the makeup, the dress, the shoes," she said.

The fact that she gets to help families in need makes her performance that much more important. You can watch the event on September 15 from 7-9 p.m. by logging onto