JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Just over 11% of Jacksonville’s population is Hispanic according to the census, which makes it the fastest-growing demographic in the River City.
Hispanic Heritage Month wraps up this weekend and there’s an event happening Saturday and Sunday to unite cultures of all kinds.
“Introducing people to our traditions, our culture, and our love -- that’s what I’m all about for Hispanic Heritage Month,” said Yanira Cardona, creator of Viva La Fiesta.
It’s the festival’s third year, but the first as a multi-day event.
Cardona said the goal is for cultures of all kinds to unite through learning more about Hispanic heritage.
“We’re just not doing this for the Hispanics. We’re doing this for African Americans, for our Americans, for our Asian friends. Come on out and enjoy our culture and traditions,” said Cardona.
Cardona said events like the festival are critical not only for the Hispanic community but Jacksonville as a whole because they introduce people who might not know much about the traditions to Hispanic culture.
“I think people think of Latinos as all being one because we speak Spanish,” said Cardona. “Each country has its own tradition and culture. So, it’s just a way for us to get to know each other a little bit more and to be more empathetic and understanding of each other’s backgrounds and cultures. I think once we understand where people come from and their history, I think we tend to be more empathetic.”
Viva La Fiesta is this Saturday from 4-10 p.m. and Sunday from 2-6 p.m. at James Weldon Johnson Park.
There will be live music, dance lessons, yoga, Zumba, Latin food, a kid zone, giveaways, and much more.