Lincoln celebrates fourth annual ‘Latino Festival’

Published: Sep. 17, 2022 at 10:50 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A row of flags stretched down the entrance to Lincoln’s Latino Festival. Vibrant and all distinct, they set the tone for the course of the afternoon.

First and foremost, it was a celebration of the Latino community in Lincoln.

“This is so significant for us because that shows the support we have as a community ,” Lisandra Jorge, event manager at El Centro de las Americas said.

But the Saturday afternoon event, organized by El Centro, is not just for the Latino community itself. Organizers said it also reaches out to the broader Lincoln community.

“It’s very important because in this kind of event, we share the way that Latinos live,” Jorge said. “And we can have a good time all together and show our culture and what we eat, the music.”

That kind of bridge crossing went both ways--as 55 community groups set up tables at the event.

Lincoln Literacy offered people free books and information on the organization’s English classes. Nebraska Appleseed, a non-profit that advocates for social justice, gave passersby information and pins.

“This Latino festival is an excellent event to meet neighbors, to share some really great experiences together and to celebrate what unites us all as a community,” Khenda Mustafa, welcoming coordinator for Nebraska Appleseed, said.

The gathering started at 2 p.m. And ran until 7. It featured performances, from folk dances to new-fusion songs.

Four restaurants brought the flavors of traditional Latino foods to the midway. Hundreds roamed through the green space, chatting and sharing food.

“Our communities are stronger when everyone feels like they belong, when everyone feels that they have a voice and that they are respected and embraced in their fullness,” Mustafa said.