Hispanic Festival Will Take Place at Wean Park

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Mahoning Valley will again have a Hispanic festival.

The inaugural HOLA Fest will take place Sept. 23 in Wean Park, downtown.

The free, family-friendly event will run from noon to 9 p.m. and feature music by Grupo Fuego salsa orchestra and Sammy DeLeon, performing on a stage under the Market Street Bridge, said Christopher Colón, one of the organizers. DJ Guitonsky will also provide music.

The event will begin with a parade from the Youngstown Flea building on East Boardman Street to the festival site.

A host of food vendors, food trucks and restaurants will offer specialties of many Latin American nations. Guests will be able to sample the delicacies of Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Puerto Rico and other countries at HOLA Fest, which stands for Hispanic or Latin American.

Papa’s restaurant is already confirmed for the festival, and more will likely be added. Beer and alcohol will also be available.

Colón said the festival is looking to add more food, vendors and entertainers.

A children’s area will be part of the fun and will include a visit from Miss Elainie of Oh Wow! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology.

Colón explained how the idea for the festival got started.

“A group of us who had been part of [the former] Hispanic Festival [downtown] wanted to bring it back,” he said. “We want to celebrate our culture as they do with the Italian and Slavic festivals.”

The festival will include a pageant for young women, artisans selling items that represent Latino culture, games, information tables and Stepping Out, a service of Mercy Health.

Persons or groups interested in being a vendor at the festival must email Angelica Diaz at OCCHA at vendors@holafest.org. Applications and information can also be obtained by visiting the OCCHA office at 3660 Shirley Road.

The Community Foundation of Mahoning Valley is the title sponsor. The festival also has the support of more than a dozen other sponsors.

More information about the festival is available HERE.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.