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George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Lillian Casillas
La Casa

Marsha Bradford
City of Bloomington Office of the Mayor

Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2004

Latino, Multicultural festivals to be Sept. 18-19

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Two festivals during the weekend of Sept. 17-19 will celebrate the increasing cultural and ethnic diversity of Indiana University and Bloomington.

Festival Latino, an outdoor concert event on the afternoon of Sept. 18 in IU Bloomington's Dunn Meadow, is held annually in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. The 2004 Bloomington Multicultural Festival will be held on the Courthouse Square the following afternoon. Both events, which are free and open to the public, celebrate the diversity and intercultural interaction within the IU and Bloomington communities.

"Both festivals provide our community with opportunities to shine a light on the cultural mosaic that makes Bloomington and Monroe County so unique," said Lillian Casillas, co-chair of the Festival Latino planning committee and director of La Casa Latino Cultural Center. "With the participation of so many different and exciting cultural organizations and performers, we're confident that these events will fulfill their missions to promote appreciation and respect for the value and strength of a diverse community."

Festival Latino will provide musical entertainment, including a performance by Ruben Rodriguez y su Conjunto, an Argentinian band that plays authentic "Chamamé" music. Other performers will be Mariachi Zelaya, an Indianapolis-based musician who performs folk music from a variety of Latin American countries, and the Chicago-based Orchestra Rumba, which performs salsa, merengue and other Latin dance beats.

McDonald's and the Monroe County YMCA will sponsor the first Festival Latino 2004 Mini-Soccer Tournament, in which six local teams will compete. IU's Faculty and Staff for Student Exellence Mentoring Program (FASE) and other organizations will provide activities for children. The local restaurant Legacy of Incas will sell authentic Peruvian foods.

Festival Latino is sponsored by FASE Mentoring Program, CommUNITY Education Program, Office of the Chancellor, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Commission of Multicultural Understanding, La Casa Latino Cultural Center, the Latino Enhancement Cooperative, YMCA and McDonald's.

The 2004 Bloomington Multicultural Festival is scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. on the Courthouse Square. Set to the backdrop of the Lotus World Music and Arts Festival, the festival also will celebrate the community's diversity through entertainment, food and activities.

Included in the festivities are international and ethnic foods prepared by Bloomingfoods Market and Deli and a variety of children's activities, with plenty of fun and educational opportunities for young people to explore the wonders of diversity.

"We're really excited about this year's festival," said Marsha Bradford, a Multicultural Festival planning committee co-chair and director of the Mayor's Safe and Civil City Program. "Nearly 1,000 folks attended the first Multicultural Festival. With this year's expansion to over 40 culture booths and 14 local entertainment acts, we're expecting an even bigger and more enthusiastic turn-out."

Sponsors of the 2004 Bloomington Multicultural Festival include the City of Bloomington, Indiana University, the Monroe County Community School Corp., Ivy Tech State College-Bloomington and Monroe County government.