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Latino American Festival set to return Aug. 28

Thomas Caputo
Staff writer
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Posted 8/3/22

The Mohawk Valley Latino Association will host the 16th annual Latino American Festival from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28, at Hanna Park, One Kennedy Plaza, Utica.

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Latino American Festival set to return Aug. 28

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UTICA — The Mohawk Valley Latino Association will host the 16th annual Latino American Festival from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28, at Hanna Park, One Kennedy Plaza, Utica.

The festival will showcase ethnic foods, activities, music and dancing of the Hispanic and Latino culture. The opening of this cultural event will start with a Latino cultural fashion show and parade with children representing the different countries that are living in the Mohawk Valley.

This free admission event will feature live entertainment from Eh Shawnee & Orchestra, Latino local and guest talent showcase performances by Genesis “H-Melody” Almanzar and DJ Richy. Other activities include a dominoes tournament, Zumba by Sister Teoka and Bucci, children’s activities including hoola hoop, relay racing, double-dutch, a water balloon fight and face painting.

Food and merchandise vendors also will be available, as well as non-profit and healthcare agencies.

This annual gathering draws over 800 people, including visitors from other communities, from Rochester to Albany, to celebrate Latin culture in the Mohawk Valley. All proceeds will be used to support the programs of MVLA. The organization is currently accepting vendors until Aug. 26.

“This is a way for MVLA to showcase our Latino culture that has been in the Mohawk Valley since the 1950’s,” said C. Sonia Martinez, co-founder and executive director of Mohawk Valley Latino Association. “The Latino community has been an economic engine for the businesses in Utica and Rome. You have restaurants, barber shops, hair salons even daycare centers opening up all over the city of Utica. The increase of the Latino population has also helped us with raising the awareness of our community that just loves to live, work, play in Utica.”

“It’s an annual event that enjoys the family-oriented activities in our community, and there’s no admission charge,” Martinez added. “Just come and enjoy the day, music, food. There’s a lot of non-profit agencies that are participating to educate the community on all the great programs and information that they have available for all of us that live in the Mohawk Valley.”

The Mohawk Valley Latino Association was established to improve the standards of living for Latino residents of the Mohawk Valley through various services that will educate and empower them, to achieve awareness amongst the different cultures of the Mohawk Valley, and to help shape the minds of the youth and demonstrate to them the great opportunities available within the Mohawk Valley and the nation.

For more information, visit the MVLA website at mvlautica.org or reach out to the organization by email at mvla@mvlautica.org, or by phone at 315-864-8419.

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