WUFT News

Annual Latino festival offers food, resources

By on September 14th, 2012

By Sarah Samuels – WUFT-FM

The Chamber of Hispanic Affairs in Gainesville is hosting the 11th annual Downtown Latino Festival Saturday.

The festival, which is free to the public, will begin at noon in the Bo Diddley Plaza in downtown Gainesville.

David Ruiz, the director for the festival, said there are many purposes for the family-friendly event, but its main purpose is to bring the Latino community together to celebrate its heritage.

“The other major component of the festival is to get people connected to local resources,” Ruiz said. “Like a non-profit, a government agency, job opportunities and also get educated on HIV/AIDS and other health related issues that affect the Hispanic/Latino community.”

The festival was originally intended to be a simple fundraiser, but it’s become a staple in the community, Ruiz said.

“People look forward to it every year, and it grows every year with the amount of people that attend it and the different people that participate in it every year,” he said.

The feedback Ruiz has gotten from the Gainesville community has been positive, he said. He’s heard only one complaint.

“We just always get people saying we need to extend it longer into the evening because people at 5 o’clock when we say, ‘Hey, it’s over,’ they’re still wanting to sit there and buy food from the different food vendors or listen to music and things like that,” he said. “We kind of heard that this year and decided to extend it until 9 p.m.”

Ruiz says his main goal is to increase event attendance every year, and he already has a few changes in mind for next year’s festival.

“I’m looking to get more people involved when it comes to artistry, people that paint and our Latin American artists or something along those lines,” he said. “But every year we just try to outreach to more and more non-profits and government agencies and food vendors and vendors that are selling other things.”

Hana Engroff edited this story online.


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

Champions Park Brings New Name and New Expectations

Champions Park, formerly known as Nations Park, hopes to increase tourism after replacing the management director of the park and updating the contract to include new requirements.


StatGNV, a database recently launched by the city of Gainesville, aims to provide more data and statistics to the general public. The program was developed by Socrata Inc., a cloud software company.

Gainesville Provides Information to Public Through New Database

Gainesville took another step towards increasing government transparency through the soft launch of statGNV. The new database aims to provide more data and statistics to the general public.


Community members take part in a candlelight vigil in remembrance of Sept. 11.

Candlelight Vigil Brings Awareness to Discrimination After 9/11

Student organizations at the University of Florida organized a candlelight vigil in honor of Sept. 11 and the victims of the attacks thirteen years ago. These students shared their own stories of the backlash that followed the attacks.


Dog walk donated to Alachua County Animal Services by local Girl Scou

Alachua County Animal Services Receives New Agility Equipment from Girl Scout

A local Girl Scout donated agility equipment to Alachua County Animal Services. The equipment assists volunteers with training dogs in skills that make them more adoptable.


No Gator Walks Alone

Students Rally To Pledge ‘Solidarity’ After Campus Assaults

A plea for solidarity and strength rang out at the No Gator Walks Alone rally held in the Plaza of Americas at the University of Florida on Monday night. The event, which was planned in less than 24 hours, came [...]


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments