Drummers Drummers keep the beat during the Bomba dance lesson. (EMC photo by Jeff Witherow)

Events in Rochester celebrate Hispanic Heritage

ROCHESTER — Hundreds of people gathered at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park for the city’s official kickoff to Hispanic Heritage Month. 

Rochester’s first “Roc’n Ritmo” concert took place at the park and featured Puerto Rico’s Tito Rojas as the musical headliner. Such groups as Latin Swing, Nina Raquel and 5 con Swing also performed. 

The event attracted hundreds of people who gathered to dance and listen to traditional salsa and bachata music. 

Band performs
Latin Swing performs Sept. 21 during a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park in Rochester. (EMC photo by John Haeger)

Jonathan Vargas of Rochester, who came to the event for the headliner performance, said it was his first time attending the city’s heritage month kickoff. While he found the long wait at the El Fogón De mi Viejo food truck to be a bit frustrating, as it distracted from the performances, he told El Mensajero Católico that he planned to attend the rest of the events the city had organized for Hispanic Heritage Month. 

The city presented a series of events during Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs annually from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. This year’s celebration, whose theme was “A History of Serving Our Nation: One Endless Voice to Enhance Our Traditions,” included such events as art and dance performances, a celebration titled “Honoring our Abuelitos” and a blood drive conducted in collaboration with the Latino Rotary Club. 

The Memorial Art Gallery is offering a Hispanic Heritage Celebration from noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 20. The event, which is part of the gallery’s Celebration Days series, includes hands-on art activities, music/dance demonstrations, storytelling and cultural displays. Participants will have the opportunity to take a tour of Latin American countries and honor this year’s spotlight country of Venezuela.

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