In downtown Provo, the Utah County’s Hispanic and non-Hispanic community celebrated Latino culture in the 10th annual Latino Festival last weekend.
The Centro Hispano, a non-profit organization, has organized the festival for 10 years. They originally started with the idea of showing the Hispanic community the companies, organizations and resources which could provide help for the community, said Benjamin Perez, the festival president.
“It was kind of information fair,” Perez said. “And from there we bring in the entertainment and the food vendors.”
Perez said the organizing team for the festival tries to make the festival better each year. Their goal is to make it not necessarily bigger but more prominent so people come and enjoy the festival, Perez said.
“We try to find better entertainment,” Perez said. “We try to give them the better experience with the food vendor.”
The festival also showcased local musical performers. The entertainment varied from singing, dancing to wrestling. Some people have been performing in the festival for many years, including Benjamin Lopez, a senior studying public relations.
“I have performed with my family for three years,” Lopez said.
The festival is not only for the Hispanic community, Lopez said, but also for the area’s non-Hispanic population to experience the culture.
“I love the Latin Fest,” Lopez said. “Because everybody, not only Latins go, but also Americans go to appreciate the culture.”
Beside the entertainment and music, Latin food is an attraction for many festival attendees, Lopez said.
Many companies and organizations came and offered help for the Hispanic community. Some of the companies are private and some of them are governmental. Juan Lee, a librarian for the Utah State Library division, was on hand to educate festival attendees about the materials public libraries can provide.
“We are here today to tell the community that public libraries have materials and programs in their language,” Lee said.
The Latino Festival also provided an opportunity for BYU students to experience different cultures right within Provo and Utah County.
“I think this is a really good event for the community,” said Chris Mabey, a junior studying mechanical engineering. “[And] I think downtown Provo is a really good place for this event.”