By Nancy R. Elliott
The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
Feel the beat, and taste the heat. The first ever Anderson Fiesta 2013 comes downtown Saturday, a celebration of Hispanic music, food, language and culture.
“It’s a great event,” said Stephon Blackwell, superintendent of parks and recreation for Anderson. “This is an opportunity to bring everybody together in one central place to have a great time.” Blackwell noted the fiesta comes during National Hispanic Heritage Month, celebrated Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
“It’s great for Hispanics and non-Hispanics alike to come out and have a great time,” said Blackwell.
The party takes place in the heart of the city, the Anderson Town Center at 12th and Meridian streets, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.
Eight local bands and disc jockey, Mask, will showcase a variety of genres in contemporary and traditional Latin music. Groups appearing include the Centenarios de Mexico, Adiccion, Presagio, Reenkuentro, Preciso, Leyendas del Oeste, Truendo and Las Canteras san Luis. Anderson’s own Ballet Folklorico dance troupe will also perform.
The Top Tamale Cook-Off will pit a number of local restaurants against each other to claim the top tamale title. Taco Universal, Riviera Maya, El Maguey, Poblanos and La Nueva Charreada are among those competing in the tamale contest. The restaurants will also be providing food vending services. Blackwell said there may be some merchandise vendors also at the event.
“We truly enjoy the diversity that is brought to Anderson by the Latin community,” Mayor Kevin Smith said. “We welcome their celebration and we’re pleased they chose us as their hometown.”
The city will have an information booth at the fiesta to extend outreach on available programs including housing, Excel Center, Work Keys Programming, Bi-Lingual Police and more.
Nonprofit community and fitness program EPIC Initiatives gets things rolling with a 5K run. Registration starts at 10 a.m. at Anderson Town Center. Participants will be bused to Shadyside Park, and run the trail right back downtown to kick off the rest of the day’s activities.
This is the latest initiative drawing folks to Anderson’s parks. Food Truckin’ Thursdays are taking place weekly.
“We’re trying to reach out to all aspects of the community,” said Blackwell, noting that such offerings make it possible for people to stay local and have a good time.
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