Cars lined the side streets surrounding Green Road Community Park on Saturday afternoon for Raleigh’s 5th annual Viva Raleigh festival. This year the festival coincided with Día de la Raza, a holiday celebrated across Latin America and Spain as the birthday of Spanish in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Viva Raleigh was initiated as a fun way for the City of Raleigh to engage the growing Hispanic community through performances, prizes, and food while providing them with information about various services that the City offers its residents.
This year’s festival was attended by La Noticia, La Conexión USA, Univision 40, News 14 Carolina, La Ley 101.1 FM and different departments within the City of Raleigh. Tacos Campa and Tacos y Pupusas Marina, a taco truck and a pupusa truck respectively, also made their appearance.
Viva Raleigh 2013 also featured various music and dance groups, including Grupo de Danza Azteca (an Aztec Dance group), Coro de la Universidad Interamericana de PR, and a live band.
This year’s event included performances from N.C. State’s Latin dance team, Sube Ritmo, for the first time.
For Luis Molina, a sophomore on Sube, it was his first time performing for the public at a location outside of N.C. State.
“Because I didn’t know anyone I wasn’t worried with messing up. We also weren’t on a stage, so it felt more like dancing for fun than performing,” Molina said.
Although at first glance, this may have seemed like simply a family event, or a fun informational fair, the college and young adult crowd was not absent.
Norma García, a junior in biology at Meredith College, saw the City of Raleigh’s effort to meet with their community on a personal level too.
“I saw how the police officers were giving information on how to report a crime and how you should not be afraid to call the police,” García said. “People can also see different cultures from Latin America, which I believe is especially important since it allows young children to learn about their heritage.”