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

BqcMUJ0CcAAuJrS

2 Shot at Apartment Complex, Police Find Suspect Dead

Update 8:30 p.m.: GPD has reported that Gerald Hall has been apprehended. Updates as they are available. Earlier: Update 10 a.m., June 19: GPD is now seeking another suspect in the shooting. Gerald Hall, 43, is wanted for questioning for [...]


For The Women Released After Arrest of CPA, Recovery Just Beginning

A well-known Alachua County accountant has been charged with three counts of human trafficking for keeping women in captivity, offering drugs in exchange for sex and house cleaning.


Group Expanding Investigation into GRU Fee Tax

Seniors vs. Crime is now looking into taxes on gas and water surcharges collected by Gainesville Regional Utilities. The group was previously only investigating a complaint about a tax on electric customer charges collected by GRU.


The fee controversy centers on whether the 10 percent municipality tax should be assessed on the electric customer charge. See the complete GRU bill breakdown.

City Responds to GRU Complaint on Fee Tax

The City Attorney and attorney representing Gainesville Regional Utilities have concluded the tax on the electric customer charge is justified.


The new Fisher House located at 5106 NW 8th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32605. Just across the street from the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center

New Fisher House will Provide Lodging to Veterans’ Families

The new Fisher House in Gainesville will allow families of veterans undergoing treatment at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center a place of comfort during treatment.


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