Right in the middle of Family Weekend last Saturday evening, the Hispanic Heritage Festival provided visiting families with an opportunity to celebrate Hispanic culture, two days after the beginning of Hispanic-Heritage month. The event had plenty of food vendors and souvenirs ranging from stickers to cowboy hats.
“We decided that it would be a really good idea to pull the community together and have a celebration over food, drinks, and music,” said Executive Director for United Way in Warren County Jeannie Weber speaking on the radio station 97.7 WMOI. “We could get to know each other a little bit better because that is how you build trust. You just need to get to know each other a little bit better and once you realize we are all here for the same human experience at the same time, it is a lot easier.”
Starting at 5 p.m. in the United Way parking lot on Archer and Broadway, members of the community and visitors from Family Weekend trickling in to buy food and souvenirs. Later in the evening, a Mariachi band started playing, with dozens of people pulling up camping chairs to watch them play and even more lining up to buy tacos and quesadillas from the different food stands.
After the Mariachi band ﬁnished with their performance, the Quad Cities Ballet Folklorico performed a series of traditional dances while adorned in traditional outﬁts. DJ Pelle Mix rounded out the night with plenty of Hispanic hits, including the classic party song ‘No Rompas Más Mi Pobre Corazón’.
“Doing the dances and seeing a bunch of Hispanic people together in one place really made me feel good, and was probably my favorite part of the whole event, aside from the food,” said a Monmouth College student.
Julie Briones – Contributing Writer