GREAT BARRINGTON — Festival Latino of the Berkshires will celebrate its 25th anniversary live and in person, noon to 6 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25, at the the Town Hall Green Park and Saint James Place, with a variety of dance demonstrations, activities and Latin American cuisine choices.
The festival, which takes place during Hispanic Heritage Month, is open to the public and is alcohol free. The annual Festival Latino Gala Party, which typically follows the celebration, has been postponed until the spring. The festival is following CDC COVID-19 safety guidelines.
“This grand event is one of the most eagerly anticipated cultural events of the year. The Berkshires Hispanic community has continued to grow and thrive in the area, making an invaluable contribution to all of our lives,” Festival Latino organizers said in a release. “The festival provides a huge sense of pride and education to the immigrants and their children; it is invaluable for this. The inspiration and joy of the Latin arts engages students and adults alike, whenever people have the opportunity to engage with them.”
The festivities kick off at noon at the Town Hall Green Park, where Latin American cuisine vendors will offer up a variety of ethnic dishes, including tacos, chorizos, arepas, tamales, empanadas, arroz con pollo, frijoles, tostones, and more. At 1 p.m., local Mexican singer Laura Cabrera will perform, and DJ Bernardino will spin the best Latin music hits throughout the afternoon, providing a soundtrack for exploring the foods, social services, artists, artisans, and activities represented throughout the festival. School faculty and students are especially encouraged to stop by the Hablemos Español table at 3 p.m., where Ana Cristina Velez, Miss Hall’s Spanish teacher, and other bilingual speakers, will be on hand to practice casual conversations in Spanish.
From 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., five highly-accomplished Latin American folkloric dance companies will perform at Saint James Place theater and in the park.
The dance companies performing at Festival Latino, all based in New York City, include:
- Tumbaga, a dance company showcasing the artistic character of the Colombian folklore with a cast of energetic dancers and eccentric costumes. Founder, director and choreographer, Armando Moreno, drives his company to display the splendor of the Colombian heritage by promoting the history in the music and dance.
- Quetzalcuauhtli Mitotiani, a dance company which celebrates the dance and music traditions of Mexico, incorporating rich pre-Hispanic Aztec traditions and rituals. This group was formed as a project of harmonious coexistence, striving to promote values of tolerance, responsibility, respect, love and community through dance.
- Cali Salsa Pal Mundo, a Colombian dance school, led by director-choreographer and dancer Johnathan Ramos, will display “La Historia de la Salsa,” its own salsa style — known for its fast-paced footwork and incredible energy.
- Tecuanes, a dance group with dancers from Los Tecuanes de San Gabriel in Puebla, Mexico, will perform a dance that represents two tribes, the Chichimeca and the Zapoteca, working together in an attempt to capture the Tiger.
- Dominican Collectives Dance Ensemble, a Folkloric Squad, performs and produces presentations that uplift Dominican pride across the U.S., striving to promote cultural authenticity and education.