DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The 20th annual Hispanic Heritage Festival returned to downtown Dayton Saturday.
The spirited celebration helped educate and introduce people to a vibrant culture.
“Nice beautiful day down here in Dayton. Got canceled last year. Always a big event so we’re glad to be back,” states Adam Colon, operating the Dayton Island Grill food truck.
People from all over packed RiverScape and the surrounding streets for the sights, tastes, and sounds of Hispanic heritage.
“We had some people who came as far as Kentucky and Cleveland,” says Karla Knox, the President of PACO, Puerto Rican, American and Caribbean Organization.
For the 20th year, organizers turned up the heat with the food, music, and dancing, and everyone had their different reasons for coming out.
“The food mainly,” admits festival-goer Jacob Jarusiewic. “I think it’s amazing and it has a lot of culture to it.”
For some it was a taste of home.
“I grew up in California, so it’s kind of a little familiar– the empanadas,” says festival-goer Dennis Kidwell.
The immersion into Hispanic culture also acted as a fundraiser.
“All of this ultimately goes to our mission of helping the community. A large part of the money that we get from the festival goes to student scholarships, goes to toys for children around the holiday time, and for food baskets for families also around the holiday time,” says Knox.