for second year in Madison
MADISON, Ind. (Sept. 2002) To recognize the growing
Hispanic population in Jefferson County and its expanding influence
on todays culture, the second annual Hispanic Cultural Awareness
Day will take place from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 14 at the Broadway Fountain.
The festival will feature Latino music, including the live Mariachi
band Zelaya, informational booths, arts and crafts for sale and, of
course, authentic Mexican foods and dishes.
We have a large Hispanic population (in Jefferson County), and
the festival is a nice recognition of the culture, says event
director Shirley Kloepfer. Kloepfer started the annual festival last
year with Julie Brown. Both women take a big interest in the Hispanic
community after having served in the Peace Corps Kloepfer in
Panama and Brown in Colombia.
performs at last year's fest
We got approval from the mayor and put it together,
Kloepfer explained that the Awareness day is more important than ever
with the rising population of Hispanics, not only in Jefferson County,
but also across Indiana, where the statewide population is now at 3.5
million. Kloepfer also intends to recognize not just the large
Hispanic presence in Jefferson County, but the immense influence
the Hispanic culture has had on America since its beginnings.
Hispanic culture has been around since the first explorers came
to America. It has existed for many centuries, explains Kloepfer.
After the success of last years event, Kloepfer anticipates an
even larger turnout the second time around. She has more food ordered
and ready to serve, since selling out completely last year. Kloepfers
adult students who take her English-as-a-second-language course at Work
One in the evenings will be preparing authentic Mexican dishes such
as tamales, tacos and Mexican corn.
In addition to food, the Indianapolis-based Mariachi band, Zelaya, will
be performing from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Broadway fountain as part
of the festivities.
Educational booths will be at the fountain, each featuring a Spanish-speaking
nation, such as Spain, Colombia and El Salvador. Arts and crafts will
be sold, and Hispanic games and contests will be held for kids.
Kloepfer admits that the festival could not have been such a success
without the help of local businesses and churches. She especially credits
the Trinity United Methodist Church on Broadway and its minister, Nan
Chizmar, for providing storage space and use of their bathrooms during
the festival. Local businesses, such as Dattilos fruit market,
Tapatios Mexican restaurant and El Camino grocery store have contributed
to both years Awareness Day.
Shirley told us about it, since we provide services for Mexicans
in the community, said Marcus Vasquez, owner of the El Camino
on Lanier Drive. The two year-old business recently moved from downtown
to the hilltop. It sells dry goods, Spanish music CDs and authentic
Mexican foods and ingredients.
Kloepfer says that perhaps the most important thing to gain from the
festival is a new appreciation of different cultures and peoples and
the impact they have on our society.
If you go to the festival, you will learn that the people are
truly nice and also about food, culture and countries, she said.
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