The Fiesta in Florissant packs a lot of Hispanic-themed ball into two days: alive music, children’s activities, a appearance show, a car affectation — alike a “Miss Chiquita Bonita” pageant.
But Elisa Bender, who helps plan the anniversary anniversary captivated in Knights of Columbus Park, doesn’t alternate back asked about her admired part: It’s the food.
“You get to eat things you can’t eat anywhere abroad — Colombian, Argentinian, Bolivian. I consistently eat a lot of the aforementioned being and again try some new stuff,” Bender says, laughing.
She has a account of recommendations: tamales, tostadas and tacos; empanadas, ceviche and churros.
“It’s so good,” she says. “I put on 10 pounds by Sunday night.”
The Fiesta, sponsored by the Hispanic Anniversary Inc. of Greater St. Louis, additionally gets bigger anniversary year. Bender expects added than 12,000 bodies over the advance of the weekend.
She attributes the access in appearance to a acceleration in the Hispanic citizenry in North County and a acute absorption in diversity. At the Fiesta, bounded cultural organizations will action advice on their association challenge and services, and vendors will advertise clothing, dolls and trinkets from their home countries.
Children will get a hands-on addition to Hispanic dress and adornment at the Kids Corner, area they can accomplish their own ponchos out of cardboard accoutrements and architecture “papel picados,” baby checkered banners. There will additionally be face painting, pony rides and piñatas, additional a few inflatables to bake off any balance energy.
Cars will be on affectation Saturday afternoon, and Florissant Mayor Thomas Schneider will baby-sit the acceptable commemoration that day. Latino bands, including Son Montuno and La Indestructible Banda Artilleros, will accomplish in the evenings, forth with salsa, merengue, bachata and flamenco dancers.
For the additional year, the Fiesta will host a Quinceañera appearance appearance featuring anew minted 15-year-old girls, at 3 p.m. Saturday. “It’s like a ‘sweet 16’ but in the Hispanic culture, it’s 15,” Bender says. “It’s about like a bells — that’s how big of a accord it is. The dresses are beautiful.”
Younger ladies will accept their own befalling to dress up at 3 p.m. Sunday during the Miss Chiquita Bonita pageant. The crowd’s acclaim will behest which little hopeful will acquire this year’s title, admitting every niña will airing abroad with her own crown.
For developed competitors, the Fiesta is hosting a new challenge. On Saturday, salsa maestros will allotment out their best adaptation of the arch additive with the achievement of acceptable a Talavera-tile mirror and a year’s account of aloof rights.
Local chef and aliment blogger Martin Lopez appropriate the challenge afterwards an on-the-fly faceoff was a hit at aftermost fall’s Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival.
“Everyone claims to accept the best salsa,” Lopez says. “And I capital to see who absolutely does.”
Lopez will emcee the contest, which will be advised by bounded celebrities (including Post-Dispatch editor Gilbert Bailon). Lopez has affluence of tips for the contestants, or for any home cooks who are cerebration of whipping up a batch. Use beginning ingredients, he says, and accomplish it ambrosial but not too spicy.
“Understanding the pepper is compassionate the salsa,” he says.
The challenge bliss off at 2:30 p.m. Festivalgoers can snag a sample advanced to actuate who can lay affirmation to the “people’s choice” honors.
It’s an accessible acreage this year, Lopez says, back the best salsa-maker he knows won’t be competing. It aloof wouldn’t be fair to accommodate his own mother.
What Fiesta in Florissant • Back 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday • Area Knights of Columbus Park, 50 St. Francois Street, Florissant • How abundant Free • Added advice 314-837-6100; hispanicfestivalstl.com
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