The first Hispanic Heritage Month Festival in Monett will be held on Saturday, Sept. 15 in downtown Monett. Sponsored by Asociaci--n Latina Imagen, the event will showcase various aspects of Hispanic culture, particularly the performing arts, in a day-long event.
"Our mission is to promote our Hispanic roots by sharing our different cultures with the community," said festival organizers.
The event will close Broadway between Third and Fifth streets. Vendors will offer food for sale and information booths will be set up in the street. Anyone interested in securing vendor space can call Valentin Vizcaino at 417-489-6877.
There will also be a bouncing house for children, a dunking booth and games.
A stage will be set up for performances near the intersection at Third Street. The disc jockey service Sonida Emperador will play a variety of traditional Hispanic music from 10 a.m. to noon, ranging from mariachi to salsa.
From noon to 3 p.m., the stage will provide a showcase to the performance of folkloric dances from Guatemala and Mexico. Songs will be provided by Tonio Jimenez, Ilcia Hernandez and Patty Perez.
A show of traditional fashion from Mexico and the vicinity will exhibit dresses from a collector. Local girls will model the dresses while the DJ provides background on the styles and origins.
"Our main goal is to share a little bit of Hispanic culture," said Vizcaino, treasurer with Asociaci--n Latina Imagen. "We want to share a little bit of our music. After they start dancing to it, maybe they will like it more."
Live music will be provided from 3 to 4 p.m. by Primos de Villa and from 6:30 to 8 p.m. by Conjunto Prisionero. From 4 to 5 p.m. will be Zumba offered to recorded Latin music, led by YMCA instructors and Lupita Moncivais. From 5 to 6 p.m. will be more folkloric dances.
Three Mexican stores will be offering tours to show non-Hispanics what they have to offer. Plaza Mexico at 13th and East Broadway will have tours from 10 to 11 a.m. with food samples and provide a demonstration of its tortilla machine. La Michoacana, next to Sherwin-Williams at Eighth and East Broadway, will offer tours from 11 a.m. to noon, and La Duranguena, at Central and East Broadway, will have tours from 4 to 5 p.m.
"By showing off our culture, we're hoping to encourage Latinos to also get a little more involved in the community, to make it a clean and safe place to live," Vizcaino added.