Last Saturday marked the 8th annual Fiesta Latina, an event hosted by the American Latino Coalition at the Village Museum, celebrating all things Latin culture while raising money for the museum.
Between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., attendees visited the museum and roamed among 64 vendors selling crafts, clothes, and colorful collectibles. Several food trucks provided delights for hungry goers, including the chocolate-dripping treats of Fruit Fashions, the sizzling snacks of FlavorHut, and the namesake of Empanada Master. The celebration wouldn’t be complete without some ear-enchanting music and performances, featuring the talents of the salsa band Cuboricua and the dancers of Faith in Motion.
“Awesome, wonderful, a great festival,” said José Lugo, a Goshen resident, and fifth-time visitor of Fiesta Latina. “Our culture, the music, the people, the food, it’s great.”
An award was given out to David “DJ Sky” Gonzales by Rubén Estrada, chairman of the American Latino Coalition, honoring him for his contributions to this and previous Fiestas Latinas. “We truly appreciate your timeless commitment and dedication,” read the plaque.
“I like it, I enjoy it, I think it’s fun,” said a vendor of Grabelito Mexican Crafts, a first-time vendor for the event who wanted to “meet new people and move our shop forward.”
Additionally, exclusive to this celebration, artifacts from the 65th Infantry from the Korean War were displayed in the museum, showcasing photography, clothes, and weaponry. These were courtesy of Tom Rivera, who has previously donated other antiques to the Village Museum.
“It’s fantastic, it’s so packed,” said Trudy Sullivan, event coordinator and assistant to Estrada, who mentioned that they were practically “begging” people to leave so that others could park and join in on the festivities.
While Fiesta Latina is the only event that the American Latino Coalition hosts, this single day brought in over 2,000 people, numerous vendors and performers, and proceeds for the museum. And, in Sullivan’s words, it helped “keep our heritage alive.”