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Lillian Casillas
La Casa

Nicole Roales
Office of University Communications

Last modified: Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Festival Latino kicks off National Hispanic Heritage Month with music, culture, food in Dunn Meadow

Sept. 5, 2007

Festival Latino

Dancers show off their Latin dance moves during the 2006 Festival Latino. This year's event will be on Sept. 15 at IU Bloomington.

Print-Quality Photo

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Latino culture will be celebrated with food, live music, dancing, interactive activities and more during the 10th annual Festival Latino at Indiana University Bloomington.

The outdoor festival will take place from 1 to 6 p.m. on Sept. 15 in Dunn Meadow, located at the corner of Seventh Street and Indiana Avenue in Bloomington. IU's Latino Cultural Center, La Casa, is the main sponsor for the event, which is free and open to the public. Festival Latino is one of many events scheduled during National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15).

"We are part of the tapestry of the United States, and it's important for people to see and understand our culture," said Lillian Casillas, director of La Casa. "The number of Latinos and the culture is expanding in the United States. People do not realize we are so part of mainstream culture -- from our food to our music and dance. This festival will help them to learn and experience the many facets of the Hispanic culture."

Many activities have been planned to facilitate interaction and active involvement in the festival. Local vendors will serve food, and booths will feature activities that will educate and entertain. Live performances will be given by three bands: Afro Hoosier International, Orquestra Son (salsa and merengue), Bembe (Caribbean) and Descarga (Latin rock).

The Mathers Museum of World Cultures at IU Bloomington will lead families in activities throughout the day, including:

  • Proverb Pictures (Cuadros de Dichos) -- Take your pick of sayings in Spanish (with English translations) from all over Central and South America and draw a picture of the meaning or story behind the saying.
  • Milagros -- Make a wish, and make a milagro (miracle). Think of something you wish for and use aluminum foil to make a small version of something that stands for your wish.
  • Inca dance bells -- Tie bells onto yarn and then tie them around your leg under your knee, just like the ancient Inca and the Quechua Indians today.
  • Games -- Try out your skill and test how much fun you can have with different games from across Latin America.
  • Many other fun and engaging activities for kids and adults.

Festival Latino sponsors include La Casa, the Latino Enhancement Cooperative, Office of Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs, and the City of Bloomington Community and Family Resources Department.

For more information, call La Casa at 812-855-0174. Casillas can be reached at 812-855-1740 and