The Latino Celebration for West Liberty’s 175th Anniversary was met with inclement weather Sunday but that did not stop hundreds of people from attending the festivities.
The event was moved to the high school at the last minute. While it stormed and rained outside, the atmosphere inside was warm and friendly. People enjoyed the traditional food, dance, music and socializing.
Jose Zacarias, a festival coordinator, said the event is a good way to build relations between groups in the community.
“We would like to see the integration take place at a faster pace.” Zacarias said. “We can continue to create the kind of environment where we can mix together, show our good intentions and things can happen. This is a good example of what I call ‘community building.’”
Coordinator Francisco Martinez agreed. He said the event shows the community is moving closer together.
“The celebration was done with enthusiasm,” Martinez said. “Because Hispanics, like Anglos, are proud of the 175th anniversary of our town and this was made possible by the whole community.”
In the the commons of the high school vendors sold food and jewelry while a group of young ladies from the Quad Cities entertained children with song, dance and games.
One vendor, Juana Sotello, said she would like to do this again next year.
“The money I made will help a friend’s son who has passed be buried,” she said.
In the gymnasium, the Quad Cities Ballet Folklorico performed traditional dances and later mariachi band rounded up the evening.
Martinez said the traditional Latino Festival will take place in September.
“The celebration was exceptional and special because we celebrated the 175th anniversary.” he said.
Rain does not stop Latino festivalMary Atkinson · Wednesday, May 29, 2013