Carteret To Host First Annual Latino Festival Tomorrow

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Mayor Dan Reiman

CARTERET–The Borough will host its inaugural Latino Fest on Saturday, Sept. 29, at Carteret Waterfront Park, from 4 until 10 p.m., Mayor Daniel Reiman and Council President Jorge Diaz announced.

The event is the latest addition to a number of celebrations and programs hosted by Carteret throughout the year, to acknowledge the rich ethnic diversity that has come to define its residential composition.

“Carteret is a microcosm of our national community,” Reiman stated. “I can think of few better examples of a community empowered by its diversification, nor any better gestures on our part than the range of ethnic tributes we host throughout the year to acknowledge the vibrant demographic makeup of the melting pot we are proud to call home.”

On Saturday Sep. 8, Carteret hosted its 37th annual Ethnic Day Festival, considered by many to be the most prominent of the Borough’s tributes to the cultures that comprise this hard working community. Highlighted by a landmark performance by American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, this year’s Ethnic Day drew an estimated 3,000 visitors in spite of rain.

This past spring marked the 6th annual Sikh Day festival and parade, which is hosted as part of the borough’s flag raising series.

“Our flag raisings have been a popular way of acknowledging other democratic nation-states,” Reiman added, “from which many of our residents have descended.”

Carteret’s Latino Festival will coincide with “Hispanic Heritage Month.” According to the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on Aug. 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The day of Sept. 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is Oct. 12, falls within this 30-day period.

According to Diaz, who is serving as event coordinator, 23 vendors and crafters have registered to participate in Carteret’s Latino Festival, which will also showcase a number of ethnic musical performances, folkloric dance demonstrations, Zumba and Salsa lessons, and a range of family-oriented fun and activities.

“We are absolutely thrilled at the level of interest and support we have seen,” Diaz said. “Celebrations such as this would not be possible were it not for the enthusiasm of the community, and those who truly appreciate the heritage and traditions that are intertwined within the fabric of this great nation.”

Live musical performances will be given by Combo Latino and Los 9 Del Sabor, with D.J. Starlight and D.J./M.C. Gloria B., from Amor 93.1, providing additional music and entertainment.

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