On June 22, Fiesta Hispana will once again be the place for people in Madison to go to celebrate the many cultures of the many countries of Latin America while bringing people together on Madison's south side.
For the second year in a row, the event will be held in the large area behind Centro Hispano of Dane County on W. Badger Road just off Park Street.
“People who were there last year will have a good idea of the space and how well it works and what a great venue it is for fiesta,” says Centro Hispano Executive Director Kent Craig says. “We had a great time last year and we will build on that for this year's Fiesta.”
While last year's event featured a lot of national talent, this year's Fiesta Hispana is featuring many local entertainers and Craig thinks that will boost the attendance. “We will have some great local groups there like Guerreros Del Amor, Orquesta De Kache, Garra Felina, [and] Chicos Kumbia,” Craig says. “There will be a lot of great bands with big local followings that will draw a lot of people, so that will be exciting.”
Local singers Sofia Martinez and Guillermo Navarro will also be performing at the event. There will be delicious food served up by Mercado Marimar and Cafe Costa Rica, many kids' activities, and a celebrity dunk tank.
“It's a family-friendly low-key event,” Craig says. “It's a fun time. We have a lot of great sponsors. It's a nice fund-raisier for Centro.”
Sponsors for Fiesta Hispana 2013 include Sub Zero, UW Health, Cardinal Bar, Madison City Arts, State of Wisconsin Arts Board, American Family, Hy-Cite Corp., Woodman's Grocery, Bright Star, Group Health Cooperative, CUNA Mutual, Herzing College, Madison Gas & Electric, Alliant Energy, Hooper Foundation, Wegner CPA, First Business Bank, and Agrace Hospice.
This will be Craig's ninth and final Fiesta Hispana — he's leaving his executive director position at the end of the month to go to graduate school at Western Michigan.
“I'll look forward to coming back and enjoying it and not having to plan it,” Craig smiles. “But, yeah, it's hitting me how close things are getting to the end and how much I will miss a lot of things about Centro.”
Judith Rosario, the current deputy director at Centro Hispano, will take over as interim executive director until the Centro board of directors finds a permanent executive director. “Judith has been wonderful since she came aboard last summer,” Craig says. “She's been running all of the operations and programs. People shouldn't expect to see any changes in the day-to-day programs and operations because Judith has been handling the vast majority of the stuff, anyways. She's totally prepared to keep the place in good hands during the interim.”
A fair amount of the proceeds from Fiesta Hispana 2013 will be dedicated to Centro's many programs. Craig is expecting a great attendance for the event.
“Our goal for Fiesta is to provide a showcase of local Latino arts, music, food, and culture. We also want to build more partnerships and connections with the community,” Craig says. “We want to have more positive events and activities right here on the south side. It's cool to have such a great event that is accessible to folks right in the neighborhood here.”
Fiesta Hispana 2013 will be held on Saturday, June 22, noon-8 p.m. at Centro Hispano, 810 W. Badger Rd. The event will include great musical performances, crafts, activities for children, food, and much more entertainment for the whole family.
For more information, call (608) 255-3018 or visit www.micentro.org