Lancaster City Culture - 28th Annual Hispanic Cultural Festival

We’re coming into “fair & festival” season in Lancaster County – one of my favorite times of the year. Pennsylvania is known for county fairs, but here in Lancaster County, plenty of individual communities have their own fairs and festivals: Elizabethtown, New Holland, Ephrata, Denver… And right here in the city, for the next 3 nights (July 29-31, 2011), we have a fantastic festival going on: the 28th Annual Hispanic Cultural Festival at San Juan Bautista Catholic Church on Duke Street in Lancaster. It’s a true feast for the senses, from colorful native costumes, arts and crafts, to the smells and tastes of incredible Latin foods to the rhythms of live Latin music in a wide range of styles.

Now, I have to admit that for me, fairs and festivals are largely about the food. And the Hispanic Cultural Festival has some of the BEST Latin food you’ll find anywhere. Whether you like mild or spicy, savory or sweet, you’ll find it here. It’s even fun to say the names of the foods: Pinchos, Empanadas, Chorizo con Arepa, Alcapurrias, Pasteles. These dishes and lots more from Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and elsewhere will be available. No one should go away hungry! And if you go on Saturday, after 12 noon, you can enjoy “Lechon Asado” – a pig roast!

You’ll also see native costumes, and representational arts and crafts from various Latin cultures.

The first 25 people to arrive at the festival each night will get free Barnstormers tickets. There’s live music every night, along with rides, games and other fun. And at the end of the festival, on Saturday night, there will be a raffle drawing for either a brand new Honda Civic OR $10,000 in cash. Players from the Lancaster Barnstormers will be on hand to do the raffle drawing.

Iglesia Católica San Juan Bautista has been hosting this annual festival for nearly three decades, since the early 1980’s.

Father Allan Wolfe, the pastor of San Juan Bautista, explains: “Our Hispanic festival is an annual opportunity to celebrate our Catholic Christian faith, and share the richness of our Hispanic culture with our Spanish- and English-speaking neighbors.”

He and the many people from Lancaster’s Hispanic community who work together to offer this festival every year for the entire Lancaster community hope the festival will foster unity, camaraderie and appreciation for the ethnic richness of the entire county.

Admission is free, and you can park for free at the Lancaster Parking Authority East King St Garage (150 East King St) and ride the free shuttle to and from the Festival.

This is one festival you won’t want to miss! Here are the nitty-gritty details:

28th Annual Hispanic Cultural Festival
San Juan Bautista Parish, 425 South Duke St, Lancaster
Thursday July 28th, 2011, 6 – 10 p.m.
Friday July 29th, 6 – 11 p.m.
Saturday July 30th, 4 – 11 p.m.

Posted by Melanie Tagged as: city life lancaster pa

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