By Daniel Winner | Contributor for AC JosepH Media
ATLANTIC CITY — It’s that time of year when South Jersey comes alive with the rich and vibrant jubilation that celebrates Latin American heritage.
The Hispanic Association of Atlantic City (HAAC) is once again commemorating local history and culture by hosting the famed Atlantic City Latino Festival. The event will be held at the Showboat Hotel for two days, Sept. 23-24 from Noon-9 p.m. and is free admission.
This will be the first year the Atlantic City Latino Festival will be held at the Showboat Hotel after being traditionally held at Badar Field.
The Atlantic City Latino Festival celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month with the sights, sounds, and tastes of Latin American culture as well as the community that is interwoven into the fabric of Atlantic City. There will be an abundance of exciting activities for children and families, arts and crafts vendors, and live entertainment.
Featured performers will share songs and dance such as bachata, bomba, mariachi and merengue. The hottest contemporary DJs will perform with folk dancers to bring both tradition and modernity to the venue.
Food vendors will provide the space with authentic Hispanic cuisine and refreshments. Attendees are encouraged to bring items that represent their Latin American heritage, such as traditional clothing and country flags.
Sponsors for this year’s festival include the City of Atlantic City, the Casino Reinvestment District Authority (CRDA), the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the South Jersey Cultural Alliance, Organización Azteca, Stockton University, Atlantic Cape Community College, Atlantic City Electric, and Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind.
The official website can be found here.
National Hispanic Heritage Month was established to acknowledge and commemorate the achievements, history, and cultural impact of Latin Americans in the United States. In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the formation of National Hispanic Heritage Week. Twenty years later in 1988, the celebratory week was expanded to a month. The observance now runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.
Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting date because it marks the anniversary of the Cry of Dolores (El Grito de Dolores), an event in 1810 that marked the beginning of the Mexican War of Independence. In 1821, Mexico and later the Central American nations Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador declared independence from the Spanish Empire. Consequently, all of these Central American nations celebrate their respective Independence Days on Sept. 15, with Mexico following on Sept. 16.
As mentioned in one of our past stories, New Jersey is home to a fairly large population of Hispanic Americans. In fact, New Jersey ranks among the top ten states with the largest Latin American populations, with nearly 20.43% of its residents claiming to have some Latin American ancestry.
True to this demographic, several events will take place throughout South Jersey to celebrate the communities that have profoundly contributed to the state’s social and economic development. Some of these events are as follows:
Downtown Hammonton (Atlantic County)
Sept. 15, 5-8 p.m.
Roosevelt Plaza Park, Camden (Camden County)
Sept. 15, 4:30-9:30 p.m.
Byrne Plaza, Wildwood (Cape May County)
Sept. 16, 3-8 p.m.
Inland Family Success Center, Egg Harbor Township (Atlantic County)
Sept. 21, 4-5 p.m.
Downtown Hammonton (Atlantic County)
Sept. 21, 5-9pm
Burlington County Amphitheater, Westampton (Burlington County)
Sept. 23, 3:30 p.m.
Coco Key Water Resort, Mount Laurel (Burlington County)
Oct. 5-9 p.m.
(This event falls just outside of Hispanic Heritage Month but it will be an important one for the calendar.)
Resorts Casino, Atlantic City
Oct. 28, 6-10 p.m.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Daniel Winner has a double major in Religious Studies and Japanese from Penn State University and has traveled internationally to the Far East on several occasions. His insights on Buddhism and Asian culture give a unique view of historical and modern trends. He will be serving as a contributor for Front Runner New Jersey.
Follow Us Today On:
Note from AC JosepH Media: If you like this story and others posted on Front Runner New Jersey.com., lend us a hand so we can keep producing articles like these for New Jersey and the world to see. Click on SUPPORT FRNJ and make a contribution that will go directly in making more stories like this available. Thank you for reading.