‘It’s neighbors’ Popular Latino Fest returns to Plymouth on Saturday

Latino Fest returns to River Park Square in downtown Plymouth 1-10 p.m. Saturday. Expect music, food and entertainment for the popular event. This year’s event marks the second anniversary for the festival after a lengthy hiatus.
By: 
Shawn McGrath
Staff Writer

(Latino Fest schedule at bottom)

After a lengthy hiatus, a popular Marshall County festival is celebrating its second anniversary.

This year’s Latino Fest is 1-10 p.m. Saturday at River Park Square and organizers hope it is just as popular this year as in 2017.

New this year for the festival is the Futboleros, a Harlem Globe Trotter-esque athletic group that focuses on soccer instead of basketball. Unfortunately, however, the popular Lucha Libre wrestling will not be making a comeback for the 2018 event.

“(Futboleros) will be interacting with the public and then performing on stage,” organizers said via email through facilitator Allie Shook, Plymouth’s parks department recreation director who also serves on the Latino Fest’s organizing committee. “This will be a great show for kids and adults alike. You won’t want to miss it.”

This year’s festival also features mariachi musicians, the Goshen-based Mexican folkloric dancers Las Guadalupanas, Plymouth-based dance group Las Chicas Troupe and music from the band Los Sicarios, organizers said. There will also be food and merchandise vendors.

Latino Fest had been an annual event from 2003 until about 2011 when it went dormant with the closing of Hearts and Hands.

About 2,500 people came to last year’s revival event – more than organizers were predicting – and they believe attendance this year will be similar.

However, organizers did say the festival would be better with more volunteers and if a more diverse group of Latinos – such as Puerto Ricans, Hondurans, Dominicans, and others – joined the mostly Mexican organizing committee so they, too, can be represented.

“The attendance last year was great since it was a returned event that had not been around for years,” organizers said via email. “The (attendance) expectation is about the same. This is the beginning of Hispanic Heritage month so there are so many other Latino festivals happening in other cities.

“(But) I see great potential for this festival to be bigger each year. This festival is not only about eating Mexican food, which many people enjoy. It’s about the community getting to know each other: It’s neighbors.”

2018 Latino Fest schedule

Saturday, Sept. 15, at River Park Square

1-10 p.m. Food Vendors Open
Marketplace Open
Social Service Booths Open

1-10 DJ will fill in with music, as needed

1-10 WLEG doing live remote

2-3 Mariachi Michiana

3-6 WTCA doing live remote

3:45-4:15 Las Chicas

4-8 Futboleros

4:30-5:15 Folkloric Dancers

5:30-6 Futboleros on the stage

6:15 Pepper eating contest

7 Educational presentation

8-10 Band and Karaoke

– Source: Marshall County Latino Fest