The Syracuse Latino-Americano Festival is back again, and organizer Fanny Villarreal says it is going to be better than ever before.
“We’re going to have Grupo Pagan, which everyone loves that band. And also we’re going to bring this orchestra, Orquesta Antonetti, who, to me, is the best salsa orchestra in New York State. I know Syracuse is a salsa city, so we decided to bring the salsa band. The whole idea is to enjoy and learn about the Latino culture, and that’s what we’re doing. It’s a family event, we’re going to have clowns, balloons, we’re going to have artistic youth presenting as well, so it’s an entertainment for everybody.”
The festival has struggled for support the past few years, but Villarreal says a push by the organizers encouraged people to keep it going.
“What we did is three people, actually, last year, three people put the festival together and we had more than 600 people coming over. So it was an amazing opportunity for all of us to get to know new people and get to say hello to the old ones that we didn’t see in a long time.”
This year’s festival has partnered with St. Joseph’s Hospital, which will provide health information and tests to people who stop by their booths. The collaboration is part of an effort to encourage regular screenings and provide health education to the Latino population in Syracuse.
The festival will also feature live entertainment, dancing, along and a variety of Latino cuisine. This year’s festival will be held in Ward Bakery Park on the near Westside August 17th from noon to 8:00 p.m.