Santa Cruzan procession at the Fremont Street Experience
Santa Cruzan is an important Filipino cultural event celebrated by Roman Catholics in the month of May. Dressed in traditional white attire and carrying floral arches, religious devotees bearing crosses and some dressed to represent biblical characters (Sagalas) parade beneath the arched canopy of the Fremont Street Experience in downtown Las Vegas. The festival incorporates two important elements in the Filipino tradition: religious piety and cultural and community cohesion. The festival was introduced by the Spanish about three centuries ago during their early colonization of the Philippines. It has since become identified with youth, love and romance and, as such, encompasses a beauty pageant in which women vie to be selected as Reyna Elena. Reyna Elena walks with her consort Prinsipe Constantino (represented by the boy wearing a crown) under a huge canopy of May flowers. Immediately behind her is a float carrying the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, followed by a brass band that lends festive sound to the procession.
Filipinos constitute one of the largest ethnic groups in Las Vegas.