Latino Culture Fest returns with more music, dance

By LEANN BURKE
lburke@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG — Huntingburg resident Terry Fogle threw down the taco eating gauntlet Wednesday.

Last year, Fogle — who leads Young Life at Southridge High School — won the inaugural taco eating contest at the Latino Culture Fest, hosted by the Asociación Latinoamericana del Sur de Indiana, or the Association of Latin Americans in Southern Indiana. In a video posted to ALASI’s Facebook page, Fogle encouraged people to challenge his crown this weekend at the seventh annual Latino Culture Fest at Huntingburg City Park.

“I know that I’m going [to the festival], and I hope to see all of you there as well,” Fogle said in the video. “And if you’re coming for the taco eating contest, you better bring your appetite.”

The taco eating contest will take place Saturday afternoon, but the festival kicks off before the day before, with food booths opening at 4 p.m. Friday, and runs through Saturday night. And for any taco challengers wanting a practice run before they take on Fogle, Friday’s event lineup includes a pupusas eating contest, a new event this year that was added because the taco eating contest was such a hit.

“It was actually requested last year by people,” said Evelyn Rivas, president of ALASI.

Also new to the entertainment lineup this year will be the Raices Folkloricas traditional dance performance Friday by a dance group from Seymour. Local dancers will also perform Saturday.

The festival will also feature live music by local Latin band Grupo Guanaco. On Saturday night, Mazizo Musical, a Chicago-based group that performs Mexican duranguense music will be in town. Duranguense music features a strong percussion line with a variety of drums and has a companion dance style, pasito duranguense.

The weekend will also feature several children’s activities, including a trompos — or spinning top — contest and piñata making.

ALASI Treasurer Azucena Cruz said the organization is expecting a large turnout for the event.

“It seems like each year we have been growing and growing,” she said.

Attendees also seem to be getting more diverse. When the event began seven years ago, Rivas said, it seemed to attract almost solely Latinos and serve as a way for the Latino community to come together. In the years since, however, Dubois County as a whole has become more aware of the festival, and the event has drawn a more diverse crowd. Each year, Rivas said, the event gets more sponsors and more attendees from outside the Latino community.

“Last year we had a pretty even mix,” Rivas said.

That’s been a welcome shift, since the goal of the festival has always been to unite the entire community and teach non-Latinos about the variety of countries and cultures that are represented in the local Latino community.

For anyone curious about Latino culture, Cruz has a piece of advice: Come to the festival.

“Be there,” she said. “See for yourself.”

Schedule of Events

All events are at Huntingburg City Park unless otherwise noted.

Friday

4 p.m. Booths Open

5 p.m. Caricature artist Karen Kovich

5 p.m. Opening ceremony

5 p.m. Henna tattoo artist

5:15 p.m. Dubois County Officials Eating Contest

6 p.m. Raices Folkloricas folkloric dance group

6:30 p.m. Pupusas eating contest

7:30 p.m. Presentation of Latino Pageant Court

11 p.m. Food booths close

Saturday

8 a.m. Soccer Tournament

10:30 a.m. Yoga session by Yes Power Yoga

11 a.m. Food booths open

11 a.m. Children’s games and crafts at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church booth

Noon Monte Sinai Alabanzas - hymns and songs by Monte Sinai Church

1 p.m. Presentation of soccer tournament trophies

2 p.m. Trompos (spinning tops) contest

3 p.m. Children’s crafts at the ALASI booth

4 p.m. Taco eating contest

5 p.m. Caricature artist Karen Kovich

5 p.m. Face painting by Delmy Dubon

5 p.m. Grupo Guanaco performance

6 p.m. Baile Tradicional Salvadoreno - traditional Salvadoran dance

6:15 p.m. Baile Tradicional Mexicano - traditional Mexican dance

6:30 p.m. Ballet Folklorico Las Americas

7 p.m. Mazizo Musical performance

11 p.m. Food booths close




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