In the midst of so much sorrow and grief regarding this country’s policies affecting immigrants, a wonderful event took place in Vincennes on Aug. 26, 2017, hosted by Wabash Valley Progressives in Knox County.

A joyful Latino Festival, held on the Riverwalk, celebrated the contributions of their Central and Southern American neighbors.

The festival for all ages included multiple food booths. Music performed by Grupo Bembe of Indianapolis provided the live music. Salsa dancing lessons were available, and a live dance troupe provided traditional cultural dances.

This inaugural first-time event exceeded all expectations with more than 1,200 people attending the festival. Some who came were eager to become sponsors for next year’s festival, which will take place on Aug. 25, 2018.

I am inspired by Festival Latino’s mission statement:

“Festival Latino’s mission is to provide our community and the rest of the Wabash Valley with an opportunity to experience traditional and contemporary Latin American culture through the presentation of the performing and visual arts, authentic cuisine, and other culturally appropriate activities. We will create and support a safe, family-friendly, and respectful environment for our Latin-American community and all of our festival attendees. We hope to attract a multicultural audience from throughout the Wabash Valley, and we look forward to joining together to show our support and appreciation to the Latin-American contributions to our communities and to our country.”

To become a sponsor for next year’s celebration, contact wabashvalleyprogressives@gmail.com.