Central New Yorkers took food and fun to Syracuse's Ward Bakery Park for a celebration of Latin American culture Saturday. The festival is trying to reclaim the reputation that it once had.
Syracuse resident, Ramona Cartagena remembers when the festival was much larger, but she has high hopes that it will soon get back to how things used to be.
“I’m sure that within a few years it’ll get to be that way again. Hopefully with sponsors and help of the community too and that’s the reason why I’m here just to be aware because I’m part of it too”
But regardless of how big the numbers used to be, both Latino and non-Latino visitors like Dorothy Huertas can agree that bringing the Latin American community together is something worth doing.
“My husband is Spanish. I like everybody to come in here all nationalities to see their customs and their dances and food, and just party like everybody else parties but in a safe way”
Although the music, fun and dancing hasn’t slowed, the numbers at the festival certainly have.
Organizer Hugo Acosta says they are trying to revive what used to be one of the city’s largest cultural events.
“The downfall was mismanagement of some organization. There has been some incidents that gave us a little bit of a negative image that we also want to fix. The goal is to make sure that we provide to our community and also to Non-Latino members of the city a good time, a good impression”
Acosta says the Latino community is one of the few that has increased in numbers in the Syracuse area.