Hispanic festival to showcase vitality of culture in Detroit

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A new cultural festival to showcase the vitality of southwest Detroit is planned this month along the Detroit River.

The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy and Detroit-based business Ideal Group are hosting the Fiesta del Rio Detroit on Aug. 27 at West Riverfront Park. There will be two stages for music and entertainment headlined by Los Angeles band Ozomatli, dance performances and a low-rider car competition.

Food from local restaurants will be showcased, including Mexican, Dominican and Venezuelan.

In addition to celebrating Latino heritage and culture, organizers said the event aims to strengthen connections between the riverfront and southwest Detroit. The area of the city is known as a home to a large Mexican-American and Hispanic population.

West Riverfront Park opened two years ago. Mark Wallace, president and CEO of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy, said in a statement that those involved are "excited about bringing the festival to the riverfront and introducing more of our neighbors to West Riverfront Park."

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One of the festival's two stages will be dedicated to children and youth programming, featuring puppets, spoken word, karate demonstrations, breakdancing, ballet, traditional folk dance troupes and musical acts. And the work of local artists will be on display.

Admission is $5 per person, but organizers said many free passes to the event will be distributed by community organizations in southwest Detroit.

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