PEORIA Ill. (WMBD) — A night of Latin fusion pervaded through Casa De Arte, Saturday night.
The restaurant was the site for Peoria’s second annual Latin Fest in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
The event featured live music, food, drinks, karaoke, and dancing all proudly embraced by the city’s growing Hispanic community.
“We’re very excited about having a Latin Fest,” Arturo Vargas, co-owner of Casa De Arte, said. “We’re just excited that we’re able to have to, you know, represent our culture, our history.”
Vargas helps to set up Latin Fest every year and said no matter where you come, it’s essential to keep your heritage alive.
“We wanted to keep our heritage and our culture alive and the music and the food and the visuals, you know, the art. It’s all part of our culture,” Vargas said.
Vargas said hundreds of people came out to last year’s event and coordinators expected an even bigger turnout this year.
In addition to newcomers, the fest had many returnees such as Jesus Talavera.
Talavera participated in the karaoke contest last year and returned to the stage this year to show off his vocals and embrace his Latin roots.
“I just feel like it’s a great opportunity for us as Hispanics to show our culture around the world so people can know what we are really what we are,” Talavera said.
Hispanic Heritage Month falls from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.