The banks of the Maumee River will be bustling with activity Saturday for the Midwest Latinofest, a decades-old celebration of culture and fun.
This is the 13th year the event has taken place at Promenade Park, but the festival has been going on for 40 years, said organizer Adrianne Chasteen.
A highlight of this year’s event will be a special program honoring Hispanic war veterans.
“We’re pretty excited,” Chasteen said. “It’s nice because we’re going to have the veterans moving wall over there.”
She was referring to a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that is in Toledo this week and that will be at Latinofest. Latino veterans will be saluted at 5 p.m. during the festival, which takes place from noon to 11 p.m.
As always, national and local artists will play a variety of Latino styled music, and the headliner this year is Las Fenix de Michoacan, which hails from Mexico and Houston.
Chasteen said the all-woman band will surprise listeners during its concert from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. with its diversity.
“That’s the beauty of it — they reach more outside the box and it is Americanized music that reaches out the Hispanic culture,” she said.
Other entertainment includes Triple Threat, 2:30 p.m.; Los Mariachis Locos of the Glass City, 3 p.m.; disc jockey Bob Rios at various times; El Corazon de Mexico, 4 p.m.; Eddie G., 4:30 p.m.; Grupo Illusion, 6 p.m.; Grupo Vizion, 6:55 p.m., and Los Carnales, 7:45.
Last year’s festival drew about 5,000 people and the same number or more is expected this year.
Children’s activities will take place from noon to 5 p.m. and a representative from the Toledo Zoo will be there with a “surprise” animal. There will be numerous food and drink options available.
Everything kicks off at noon with the parade of countries and the presentation of colors.
The Midwest Latinofest is noon to 11 p.m. Saturday at Promenade Park on the west side of the Maumee River in downtown Toledo. Admission is $5 for ages 12 to 64 and people 11 and younger and 65 and older are free. Military members or veterans with an ID are free.