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Charlotte's Latin American Festival showcases international heritage

The Latin American Festival has become a Charlotte tradition.
Latin American Coalition
The Latin American Festival has become a Charlotte tradition.

One of Charlotte’s largest Latin American cultural celebrations returns Saturday at noon, as part of the Charlotte International Arts Festival

The 33rd edition of the Festival Latinoamericano, organized by the Latin American Coalition, will showcase 19 countries through music, food and dance. 

This year, the annual celebration takes place in a new location, The Amp Ballantyne in south Charlotte. But the purpose of the Latin American festival remains the same — to celebrate and bring together North Carolina’s diverse Latino communities.

The festival relies largely on volunteers, said Diego Torres of Charlotte’s Latin American Coalition.

“We have been working with different organizations from each country and we have worked together to put together a festival where all of the countries are going to be represented,” Torres said.

Traditional performances will be featured from every country represented, from Mexico to Argentina, as well as Brazil and Spain.

The main stage will showcase local dance groups such as Passion for Tango and Saoko Latin Dance, as well as local musicians such as Wanda López and Eddy Kbrera. The night ends with a performance by Latin Grammy winner Felipe Peláez, the Colombian-Venezuelan artist known for his vallenato style of music.

Charlotte FC will host a children’s zone with a visit from their mascot Sir Minty.

Latin Americans Working for Achievement, known as LAWA, will promote its scholarship program for Latino students and hold a scholarship raffle during the event.

Entrance is free. Free parking will be available off of Ballantyne Corporate Place.

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This story was produced through a collaboration between WFAE and La Noticia. You canread it in Spanishat La Noticia. Puedes leer la nota en español en La Noticia.

Kayla Young is a Report for America corps member covering issues involving race, equity, and immigration for WFAE and La Noticia, an independent Spanish-language news organization based in Charlotte. Major support for WFAE's Race & Equity Team comes from Novant Health and Wells Fargo.