Location: Genoa Park, 303 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Sidebar: I decided to attend on Sunday (free parking at the meters). Everyone else must have had the same idea. There wasn’t a meter available in close proximity to Genoa Park. I parked further down West Broad Street for free. Nothing happened; but going forward, I will just pay the $10 to park in the lots west of COSI (Center of Science and Industry).
Why are you out here doing what you are doing?
I was hired by Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA) to make balloon animals for all of the cool kids.
What the what. If you are not a cool kid are you saying you can’t get a balloon?
They are all cool kids.
Interview with Edison Diaz.
You look like you are living it up. Tell me what you do and how long you have been doing it and why you do it.
We have been doing this for 24 years. The first time here was back in 1995. The salsa group that started this was Tito Puente and Selia Cruz. Everybody is a big family. People come from all over Ohio and some people come from Philadelphia. We play the congas until they kick us out. There are two police officers who always take care of us and at the end, they play the congas with us. This is all about family. Even though I might not see someone the entire year, it is 100 % that I will see them here at the Latino Festival. It is all about having fun, being with the community, drinking, eating, playing, etc.
Are you primarily from one place or all Latinos?
All Latinos. We have people from Mexico, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Cuba, etc. Even Asian people come over here and have fun. We welcome everyone. If you don’t know anything about our culture, come., and we will educate you. People fear what they don’t understand. Ask us. All Latino people are not drug dealers. All Latino people are not illegal immigrants. We are a group of people who love people. We may be loud, but we are positive and love having fun.
Interview with Waleska Dejesus
I save the place. Everybody knows where to come to have fun and be with their family. We welcome new people with open arms. They have fun and then they become part of the family.
Sidebar: This group was enjoying themselves! I thought they might be a paid group to add percussion to the performers. I loved their vibe. Once in the section, you can feel the connection.
I talked to Elaina Hernandez of El Corazon de Mexico.
My take on Festival Latino 2019:
This festival was well attended. It was crowded. People were in the shade, walking by the vendors, sitting and listening to the music, dancing, etc. Thus far, this has been the highest attendance that I have viewed at Genoa Park on a Sunday or even Saturday. It appeared that everyone was in chill mode. People were supporting the festival, not only with their presence, but with the money, buying food, drinks, etc… I had a blast.