LOGAN – Nearly two dozen Latin American countries will be represented on Saturday at the first ever Cache Valley Media Group Latino Festival held in Historic Downtown Logan. The event will include vendors, a parade of flags, food, folklore dancing, and music on Center Street from 3-9 p.m.
97.3 Juan FM Sales and Marketing Manager Carolina Calbimonte organized the Cinco de Mayo festival at Willow Park this past spring and says she heard from many people from other nationalities asking if there would be a festival to celebrate all Latin countries, not just Mexico.
“We celebrate Hispanic Heritage month from September 15 – October 15. Everyone here knows about Mexican culture – the food, the dance – but many don’t know the beauty, the traditions that other countries have, like my country Bolivia, or Peru, Brazil, etc.,” she explains.
At the Cinco de Mayo festival at Willow Park, Calbimonte says she saw as many Americans as anyone. She was happy to see such a willingness to be such a welcoming community, but also wanted to create an opportunity for other Hispanic communities to be celebrated and noticed. In fact, after applying to host the Latino Festival at Willow Park Logan City council member Ernesto Lopez and Logan City Mayor Holly Daines approached Calbimonte and asked if the festival could be located in downtown, on Center Street. The street will already be closed off due to the Logan City Marathon taking place earlier that morning and will be equipped with multiple restroom facilities and extra garbage cans.
Calbimonte says 21 Spanish speaking countries will be represented, plus Brazil (where they speak Portuguese).
“My goal is to represent all of them,” Calbimonte continues. She says the countries will be represented in dance, traditional costumes, a flag parade, food and other demonstrations. The parade will take place at the beginning of the festival.
“We’re doing a little parade to represent the countries. That’s one thing I wanted to do to represent all the countries,” she explains. “In that parade I invited some Hispanic organizations, the Latinos in Action from Logan High, Green Canyon and from USU. There is also some other organizations that are coming from Provo and Salt Lake City, Latino American Utah which represents Latin countries, too. They wanted to be a part because this is the first time we are doing this in Cache Valley.”
She says dual immersion students from both the Cache County and Logan City school districts will march in the parade. Students will march with their parents to represent the country from which they are learning. The students are not just learning a language, they are also learning the culture of countries and people who speak those languages.
“Every booth will represent its country. We have food from different countries like Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico (always Mexico), El Salvador and Guatemala. We’re going to have diversity from different countries.”
Other vendors and organizations will be at the event, including co-sponsors iFit, Cytiva, Gossner Foods, Thermo Fisher Scientific and Members First Credit Union. Some vendors will be selling traditional jewelry and products, while others will provide information, including non-profit organizations.
There will be a stage set up near the Center Street arch to provide live music and dance instruction. The afternoon will be a party and celebration of Hispanic heritage and community.