Swivel your hips to salsa music. Move to the beats of cumbia from Colombia, bachata from the Dominican Republic and samba from Brazil. It’s all part of Maplewood’s first Hispanic Heritage festival, a community event that will entertain the entire family.
Somos SOMA Latinos, working with the Maplewood Office of Cultural Affairs and Cross Cultural Works, the organizers of Diwali Fest NJ and Lunar Fest NJ, is putting together a free event you surely don’t want to miss.
Hola! Fest NJ 2018 will take place Saturday, Sept. 29 from noon to 6 p.m. It will have Latin food, vendors, and a slew of cultural entertainment and children’s activities. Kids can get Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, face paintings and decorate Spanish fans. Adults can play dominos and buy cigars. The whole family can enjoy entertainers with performances from across Latin America. Don’t know how to dance salsa? You can learn from dance instructors.
Maplewood and surrounding towns have a fast-growing Hispanic population that is becoming a close-knit community.
Hispanics are the fastest-growing minority group in the area, now representing about 8 percent of the population, based on school enrollment numbers, with its numbers significantly rising every year.
Come learn about our rich and beautiful culture.
About the organizers:
Somos SOMA Latino, a volunteer community group, has held many community events, including a Three Kings day celebration, a Brazilian-style carnival party and a Hispanic Heritage evening event that was a huge success. It is also a philanthropic organization that, thanks to the overwhelming generosity of its members, has donated thousands of dollars to Dreamers, Puerto Rico recovery efforts and to a Venezuelan group that assists transgender exiles.
SOMA Cross-Cultural Works Inc. is the local non-profit organization behind last year’s inaugural Diwali Fest NJ and this year’s Lunar Fest NJ, two events that were a smashing success. It has once again partnered with the Township of Maplewood to help host Maplewood’s first Hispanic Heritage celebration.
Maplewood Township has shown itself to be one of the most welcoming and multicultural town in New Jersey. It boasts one of the largest Pride festivals in the state and has hosted events for many community groups. The town promotes and celebrates diversity and inclusion.