Last Saturday and Sunday, October 13 & 14, La Costa Latina presented the Seventh Annual Latino Festival. The event, held at the Community Maritime Park in downtown Pensacola, featured international Latin artists like A.B. Quintanilla and the Kumbia Kingz All Starz, Kalcomania and Henry Santos of Aventura.
Hundreds enjoyed the event which ran from 12 noon – 9 p.m. both days.
“I started [the festival] in 2005 when I started the newspaper after Hurricane Ivan brought so many Hispanics to the Gulf Coast,” said Grace Resendez McCaffery, publisher of La Costa Latina. “It was actually an expo at the time and it was for the purpose of helping businesses connect with the new Hispanic Market.”
McCaffery says that the fest has changed throughout the years and has morphed into a more celebratory event, highlighting the richness of Latino culture.
“Now, It’s more about celebrating our culture and sharing our culture,” McCaffery said. “When you grasp the fact that we’re not all Mexican, we’re not all Puerto Rican — we actually make up over 20 countries and there are people from all those 20 countries living in the Gulf Coast.”
“It’s a moment of pride,” McCaffery continued, speaking on the importance of the two-day festival. “When you see the colors, the music and the food, that takes you back and it’s in your heart. You want to be able to share that.
Sponsors for the event included COX cable, the University of West Florida, Baptist Health Care, Florida-Alabama TPO and the City of Pensacola.