Festival Latino — a free outdoor event highlighting Hispanic heritage — will fill Orange City’s Windmill Park from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 24. The event is part of Orange City Arts’ Onstage Orange City summer series.
The fourth annual community-wide festival will feature authentic Latin cuisine, an interactive kids’ zone featuring free crafts and activities, and live music from internationally-known Latin fusion band Tropicante.
“The Hispanic population has begun to be an important part of the Orange City community, and it’s important to have shared spaces where we can learn to understand each other and learn about each other’s cultures,” says Olga Alvarado, an Orange City Arts board member of Colombian descent who helped plan the event.
With nearly 10 percent of Sioux County identifying as Hispanic according to the 2013 Census, the event aims to foster deeper cultural understanding while providing top-notch food and quality entertainment.
“Our principal goal is always to have people’s minds opened to the diversity of Latin American cultures through a beautiful, fun medium — music,” Stein said.
Separate from the larger band, the duo (known as Calle Sur, right) will also provide a free children’s workshop for grades kindergarten through fifth at 1 pm at the Orange City Public Library. The participants will make simple instruments, sing, dance, and act their way through a Brazilian rain forest.
Free transportation from Sioux Center will be available. A bus will leave the Centre Mall parking lot at 6 and 6:30 p.m., with rides returning from Orange City back to Sioux Center at 8:30 and 9 p.m.
Harold Heie, chair of the Festival Latino planning team and chair of CASA (Center for Assistance, Service, and Advocacy), says Festival Latino is a collaborative effort that aims to bring people together.
“Part of it is just getting to know one another,” Heie says. “When you get to know people, things always change.”
Attendees are invited to wear traditional clothing from their country of origin.
Festival Latino made possible by CASA, Center Fresh Group, Hands Around the World, Natural Food Holdings, Birdhouse Rentals, Western Iowa Dairy Alliance and Al & Carol Kramer, in conjunction with Orange City Arts.
Unity Christian Knight Center in Orange City is the event’s rain location. For changes related to the weather, visit orangecityarts.net or facebook.com/ocArts.
Bring lawn chairs or blankets.