Comunidad hispania invites the public to celebrate hispanic heritage and culture
Annual fiesta will be Sept. 18 at Normal Park in Merrill
TINA L. SCOTT
Comunidad hispania [the Hispanic community] will hold their annual fiesta [party] and celebration to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month on Saturday, Sept. 18, at Normal Park in Merrill, from 12:00 noon to 4:30 p.m., and the public is invited to celebrate with them. “Everyone is invited!” organizers say.
The event provides a fun and festive way for attendees to experience a bit of Hispanic culture, with delicious authentic food, lively music, and fun activities. It’s the perfect way to dance to a mariachi band or enjoy the taste of empanadas from Mexico and tamales from San Salvador without needing a passport.
“This year’s event features a ‘Food Fest,’ including a variety of authentic Hispanic foods from several Latin American countries which will be available to purchase from many excelentes cocineros [excellent cooks],” said Nancy Baacke, one of the event organizers.
“Tacos (pork/chicken), gorditas, picaditas, pozole (soup), stuffed chiles, prepared pork rinds, empanadas, agua de horchata, from Mexico, Stuffed potato from Peru, and different kinds of tamales (chicken/pork with red/green sauce filled) wrapped with banana/corn leaves, or aluminum foil from different countries like San Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Mexico.” These are the kinds of delicioso authentic cuisine you can expect to find at the park this Saturday.
“The Lincoln High School Mariachi Band from Wisconsin Rapids will be providing music for the afternoon, and there will also be piñata,” Baacke said. Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes and honors the many achievements and contributions of Hispanic people to the United States. It began as a weeklong observance in 1968, when President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the week of Sept. 15 as Hispanic Heritage Week. Sept. 15 is the Independence Day of several Hispanic countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico celebrates its independence on Sept. 16 and Chile celebrates its independence on Sept. 18.
Twenty years later, in 1988, President Ronald Regan extended the observance to 30 days, proclaiming Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month each year.
This year’s local celebration of the rich culture and important contributions of the Hispanic community is being hosted by HAVEN [Household Abuse Victims Emergency Network]. HAVEN offers bilingual Spanish-English advocacy for individuals and families experiencing interpersonal abuse and violence.
“Come and join us for food, festivities, music, and fun,” Baacke said. “Esperamos verte ahí! [We hope to see you there!]”