Latino Fest Expecting to Draw 20K Attendees
The first official Latino Festival of Baltimore County will be held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds this weekend.
But one planned cultural bonanza is bringing together the heritages of countries all over the world, culminating into one of the largest events the fairgrounds will see in 2012: The inaugural Maryland Latino Festival in Baltimore County. (Click here for Spanish site)
Festival representatives are expecting 20,000 to 30,000 attendees this weekend for a day of food, dancing and headlining Hispanic performers.
“Based on some of the early returns, it looks like we’re going to make those numbers,” said festival spokesman Darrell Carrington.
The festival was envisioned by business owner Luis Contreras as a way of galvanizing the growing Hispanic population in Baltimore County.
“Baltimore County has one of the fastest growing Latino populations,” Contreras said. “I started working on this a year and a half ago and it’s finally coming true.”
Contreras said it was important to find a location large enough to accommodate 11 well-known musical performers as well as 33 vendors and 20 food vendors all representing cultures from Central and South America.
The family-centered festival is promising to be “a Latino field day,” according to Carrington.
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced Thursday morning that he will be on hand at a ribbon cutting ceremony to usher in the masses for the first Latino Festival of this size in Baltimore County.
He too is promising "the most talented headlining artists of any Latino Festival, past or present, in the Mid-Atlantic Region," according to a release.
Who knew the county executive was such a fan of Reggaeton?
Proceeds from the festival benefit U.S. Hispanic Youth Entrepreneur Education (USHYEE), a non-profit that provides scholarships to deserving Latino students.
“He wanted to do something to give back to the entire Baltimore County Latino community,” Carrington said, speaking on behalf of Contreras.
The festival begins at 10 a.m. Sunday, with music starting at noon, until 9 p.m. in the infield of the Maryland State Fairground racetrack.
General admission is $25 (available here). VIP tickets have already sold out.
Scroll through the attached YouTube videos to see who is performing at Latino Fest this weekend.