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Josefa Luce
Latino Outreach Coordinator
Community and Family Resources Department

City of Bloomington’s Fiesta del Otoño Launches National Hispanic Heritage Month

Bloomington, Ind. - The City of Bloomington Community and Family Resources Department will host Fiesta del Otoño (Fall Festival) on Saturday, September 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to commemorate National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 through October 15. This family-friendly celebration will be held in conjunction with the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market at the Showers City Hall Plaza, 401 N. Morton St.  

This year’s theme for Fiesta del Otoño is Celebrando Nuestras Raíces, Nuestra Herencia, Nuestra Fuerza - Celebrating Our Roots, Our Heritage, Our Strength. “As we grow together as a nation,” said the City’s Latino Outreach Coordinator Josefa Luce, “it is paramount that we all understand our roots, our heritage, and our strength -- not only as individuals but as members of this great nation.”

The festival will present a cultural showcase to include the IU Latinx Greek Stroll, dancing to traditional Mexican songs, and dance lessons provided by Paso a Paso, followed by a dance competition for a pair of tickets to a performance by Mariachi Los Camperos at the IU Auditorium. The event also will include face painting and other hands-on activities at a children’s station, a chance to sample the Colombian and Venezuelan staple known as arepas, and representation by several community partner organizations sharing information about services and employment.

“Bloomington is home to people from across the world, including many Spanish-speaking countries,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “The Fiesta del Otoño is a chance for cultural exchange and celebration among neighbors -- a way for us to get to understand each other better, and ultimately, to take care of each other.”  

“As a Peruvian immigrant, it is important for me to reaffirm my identity by returning to the traditions, wisdom, and family of my roots, of which I am very proud,” said Fiesta planning committee member Yllari Briseño.  “At the same time I am proud of being part of a Latin American culture that reinvents itself in the United States and contributes to the nation’s diversity. Our strength lies in knowing how to balance these two worlds. I believe that celebrating our differences, with respect and humility, makes us part of the dream of a more just society.”

Fiesta del Otoño is a partnership between the City of Bloomington Community and Family Resources Department and Indiana University’s Latino Enhancement Cooperative.