COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — For the first time since 2019, Festival Latino was back in action in Genoa Park this weekend.
Organizers and longtime vendors said huge crowds flocked to the festival all weekend long.
“Super happy the crowds were enormous yesterday,” said Festival Latino Director Rich Corsi. “So we’re glad to be back.”
Longtime festival vendor Omar D’Angelo started coming to the festival with a simple tent stand; now he has a food truck and restaurant in downtown Columbus which he credits to the support of the community.
“I think it’s just because it feels like a family,” said D’Angelo. “Probably like Thanksgiving, it’s like everybody gets together and enjoys the food, the family, and the music.
It’s a sentiment echoed by organizers.
“A lot of these food vendors, marketplace vendors, and sponsors, they’re like family,” Corsi said. “They come out every year, so we are very happy to be back and live.”
D’Angelo said the support of the community is as important as ever.
“We have been through a pandemic, and I think that this is a time to go support and have a trip to South America just here in Columbus,” D’Angelo said.
The event featured music, dancing, arts, and food from all over Latin America.
“This is almost like taking a trip to South America to Latino America where you can get food from different countries,” D’Angelo said.
Besides immersing yourself in the different Latin cultures and all they have to offer, festival goers could receive bilingual information from social service organizations and free health screenings.
This year the festival celebrated its 25th year by adding a kickoff dance party on Friday night at Lower.com Field in the Arena District.