Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hispanic Festival at Riverscape

The paper had an article on the growing Latino community here, saying it’s increased by over 40% since 2000. This sounds good, until one realizes that this population, combined with foreign born from other parts of the world is still extremely low, less than 5%, compared to places like Chicago (21%) or California. Still, this is becoming a well-attended festival, and quite multi-culti, as this is for Latinos from all over Latin America and the Caribbean (it is sponsored by PACO, the Puerto-Rican/Caribbean Organization, I think?), and gets a fair amount of non Latinos, too. The festival used to be a the Fraze in Kettering, but has been at Riverscape for a few years now
There is always a few booths, both for clothing, toys, and food. El Meson (a restaurant owned by Colombians) has a stand, and the “paella man” is usually there working this big wok-like cooking pan
Music. The afternoon usually has more of a folkloric thing, including Dayton’s Sol Azteca folk dancers. Later there is more dance music, like this band, Grupo Fuego, from Cleveland
And then there are little things happening all around, like these folks playing music and dancing. I've seen older latino guys playing dominos at tables, too, which seems really foreign to me..

Mike Davis, in his book Magical Urbanism, talks about how Latin Americans are transforming American citys. This isn’t as evident here, but go to Chicago and see how this immigration is pumping new life into the old neighborhoods. Latin America is perhaps more like Europe in that it is, in a general sense, an urban culture, or at least doesn’t de-value city life as much as North America does.

For more pix of the festival, click here.

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