About Festival Latino
Liliana Ortiz-Bermudez and Doris Orellana
founded the Festival in 1995; with the mission to promote understanding
and appreciation of Latin American culture within the Berkshires and
surrounding areas. The "Festival" was held for the first time
under the sponsorship of Lee Youth Association and High Meadows Foundation.
It was organized by members of the Latino Community of South County
at the First Congregational Church. By creating and participating in
the festival, the Latino Community was able for the first time to show
its enthusiasm and its capability of social integration with the rest
of the population. With the participation of local Latino families and
young Latino students from BCC, the presentation of dance groups was
organized, with bountiful typical costumes made by Latino housewives.
Sales of typical Latino dishes from different regions were set up, and
the culture of the various countries in Latin America was displayed.
The Festival was well received by the community-at-large in its first
implementation. Since 1996, it has been incorporated into the celebration
of the Lee Founders Weekend, which has helped the Latino Community show
its membership in the greater Berkshire Community. The support of Pastor
Bert Marshal of the Lee First Congregational Church, along with other
organizations and various local businesses, has been crucial in the
development and success of the Festival Latino.
The Festival has produced it successfully every
year since. It has several components that all have to come together
every September during Lee Founders Day. The festival begins with participation
by the Latino community in the Founder’s Day Parade. We put together
all of our floats, music, marchers in ethnic costumes, and dancing by
Liliana’s troupe The Multicultural Youth Dancers and community
volunteers. The afternoon festivities take place in the public park
in Lee, Massachusetts. For six hours the festival presents free folkloric
entertainment and, following the Festival, a party with paid admission
at a local restaurant/bar featuring an evening of Latin dancing with
live music provided by Latin bands from New York
Chorizos, Arepas, Horneado, Empanadas, Tamales, Tacos, Sodas Colombianas
y otras, Agua Jugos, Plátanos fritos y Carne a la braza, Churrasco,
Tortillas, Chuzos, Comida vegetariana latina y muchos más bocaditos.
Food and Vendors
beverages/No bebidas alcoholicas
2019 Press release: download >>