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Miss Puerto Rico Image 2012 contestants and the 2011 Miss Puerto Rico Image Queen Taisha Ortiz


Lorain enjoys first El Sabor Latino Community Festival

By Ingrid Marie Rivera, La Prensa Correspondent

Upbeat Latino music, enticing Latino dish aromas and carnival games adorned Lorain’s Black River Landing near Lake Erie this past Saturday as Lorainites enjoyed the first annual El Sabor Latino Community Festival, July 7, 2012.

Roughly 2,000 people attended the festival said event organizer José “Pepe” Rivera, a DJ from Kool Kat Oldies 1380 AM. Yet, organizers believe the hot, triple-digit temperatures and high humidity could have limited attendance.

He called the festival successful.

Alma de México

“People have shown up and cooperated. They stepped forward, and I think the Hispanic community is now showing that we're here,” Rivera said.

The festival, Rivera’s brainchild, was organized by El Sabor Latino Committee, a recently formed group under the Coalition for Hispanic/Latino Issues and Progress (CHIP) of roughly 10 Latinos working to create more local Latino events.

The committee, which began to meet about 7 months ago, includes members Rey Carrion, from the city’s economic, community development; Tim Carrion, of the Community Foundation of Lorain County and its Hispanic Fund; Richard Romero, a member of the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs; Diane Soto-Dismuke from Faroh’s Candies and Mercy’s Women’s Health Center’s Amigas Breast Cancer Awareness Program; and Antonio Barrios from the Lorain Arts Council.

Lorain, a major city with the highest concentration of Latinos in Ohio (just over 25 percent of the population) needed another Latino festival, Rivera said.

“We wanted to showcase the beautiful waterfront that we have,” said Rey Carrion, “We wanted the Hispanic population – Latinos and non-Latinos – this appeals to everyone – to be able to have a beautiful concert at a beautiful site,” he said, and thus El Sabor Latino Festival was born. He said he hopes the festival will become an annual fest and grow to the prestige of the beloved Lorain International Festival, which is in its 46th year.

The Mexican dance group Alma de México.


Roberto Clemente

Latinos and Lorainites dedicated one of the Lorain County Ironmen’s baseball games to the great Puerto Rican baseball star Roberto Clemente, during the same Fourth of July weekend, Friday, July 6, 2012. Latinos and Lorainites also recognized Luis Gómez of Cleveland for his contributions to Latinos. [See related story by Ingrid Marie Rivera.]

“We wanted to have our own weekend – like Sábado Gigante – we wanted our Weekend Gigante here that shows something here for the baseball community, (Roberto) Clemente, and then a festival on the Saturday,” Rey Carrion said.

The festival provided plenty of Puerto Rican and Mexican cherished dishes, a fashion show, a Latino emcee who previously performed at the Improv comedy organization, carnival games and rides for the children, Latino music and cultural dancing including the Mexican Dance group Alma de Mexico, a dance group from the Puerto Rican Home, Justo Saborit, Grupo Maximo, Sean Gabriel, DD Magdalena and Ray Carrion and the Latin All-Stars.

The contestants of the Miss Puerto Rico Image 2012, and the 2011 Queen Taisha Ortiz, Cleveland's competition for the Puerto Rican Parade Queen, also made an appearance. The 2012 Queen will be crowned next weekend, July 14, at Cleveland State University’s Waetjen Auditorium, beginning at 5 p.m. Admission fee is $5.

Richard Romero said the festival showcases Latino pride but also United States pride. He said the committee chose the Fourth of July weekend to host the two Latino events.

“Latinos are proud to be American,” Romero said “Fourth of July is America’s birthday really, when you think of it. So I think the underlying message is Latinos are here to stay. This is our country. We love this country, and we want to celebrate the Latino culture on the Fourth of July weekend.”

See La Prensa’s video/photo coverage of this event at our Youtube page: http://www.youtube.com/user/LaPrensaWeekly

Like us and Friend us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/la.prensa1

Also, https://laprensatoledo.com/Stories/2012/062212/gomez.htm


The first annual El Sabor Latino Community Festival at Black River Landing, Lorain,
July 7, 2012

Aztec Dancer

Justo Saborit performs

Justo Saborit performs

The Lorain Pioneers Program, a Lorain youth tackle football and youth cheerleading team.


Copyright © 1989 to 2012 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07/10/12 20:11:54 -0700.





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