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Hispanic Heritage Festival on Oʻahu returns after 2 years of cancellations

2018 Hispanic Heritage Festival
Lopaka Photography Hawaiʻi
2018 Hispanic Heritage Festival

Nancy Ortiz has helped to organize the Hispanic Heritage Festival for nearly 30 years. But when the popular event was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, she said many community members missed the cultural staple. She said many people were calling her, asking when it would return.

The Hispanic Heritage Festival returns this weekend. The event is in its 30th year and will feature live entertainment, food vendors, crafts, cultural displays, keiki activities and more. Ortiz said they are expecting about 3,000 to 5,000 people to attend.

She said her favorite parts are watching the live entertainment and perusing the food vendors.

“Like everything else, you want to celebrate your heritage. Every ethnic race here in Hawaiʻi, because we’re a melting pot of the Pacific, everybody celebrates,” she said. “But we celebrate because we’ve got 22 Hispanic countries. And we try to celebrate every one of them somehow. And this is the only way that we can all come together with all the different countries and plus everybody else.”

The event is free and open to the public. It will be held on Oct. 15 from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the American Veterans’ West Oʻahu Veterans Center in ʻEwa Beach. For more information, click here.

Jayna Omaye was a culture and arts reporter at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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