By Millie Irizarry | For AC JosepH Media
WILDWOOD — PRAC of Southern New Jersey presented its annual Playero Music Festival, known for its authentic Salsa lineup and vibrant beach atmosphere, on Aug. 11-12 on Wildwood Beach in Cape May County.
The weekend kicked off with the highly anticipated “All White Party” on Aug. 11 and live salsa performances on Aug. 12. Performers included El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, presented on stage by Illia Garcia of Univision; Raul Acosta, Oro Solido, Brenda K Starr and more.
The festival, which celebrated the lively spirit of Latin culture and tropical rhythms, drew in a large crowd of music enthusiasts from all around the East Coast eager to soak up the sun and dance the night away to the beat of the drums.
As festivalgoers arrived earlier in the day to the sounds of guest DJ Ralphie Mercado and the picturesque venue, they were greeted with a kaleidoscope of colorful skies, hair swaying in the breeze, and vibrant beach-themed ambiance.
The festival grounds were transformed into a tropical paradise, complete with sandy beaches, a VIP section, and beach bars serving food and refreshing cocktails to enjoy. The main stage was adorned with many lights, a banner with all the collaborating sponsors who made it possible, and a massive projector screen for maximum visibility depicting a breathtaking beach sunset as a backdrop, setting the perfect ambiance for the performances.
It takes a lot to put a show like this together, but in it end it was all worth it, according to PRAC founder Ralph Padilla.
“There’s nothing here but beach, so you have to bring everything in — including the stage and lights — and set it all up,” Padilla said. “It’s a lot of work but we’re proud of the way it’s grown.”
The highly anticipated festival highlights included El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, who simply never disappoint. The electrifying performance by renowned Latin artist Raul Acosta “El Presidente” and Oro Solido.
With his infectious energy and smooth band melodies, Raul Acosta, Oro Solido and El Gran Combo had the crowd grooving the night away to all their popular hits.
The audience couldn’t resist joining in on the irresistible salsa dance moves, creating a sea of synchronized swaying and a whole lot of hip-shaking. Throughout the day, festival-goers indulged in an assortment of activities including Brenda K. Starr performing all the crowd favorites followed by a meet and greet with excited fans who were all wearing big smiles on their faces.
The Puerto Rican Action Committee, or PRAC of Southern New Jersey, works to identify and address the needs of low to moderate-income community members by developing strategies and programs that facilitate social, and economic growth, and self-sustainability along with promoting cultural awareness and events.
The Playero Music Festival is one of the main fundraisers for the PRAC of Southern New Jersey so it can expand its mission.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Millie Irizarry (Formerly Sanchez) is the founder and public relations director of Global Media Society, and a popular television host on Quinn Broadcasting in Millville. She is a local realtor with Keller Williams Prime Realty in Vineland.
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