Carteret hosts first annual Latino Festival

Carteret, NJ – The Borough of Carteret hosted its first Latino Fest on Saturday, September 29th, at Carteret Waterfront Park.


The event was the latest addition to a number of celebrations and programs hosted by the Borough throughout the year, to acknowledge the rich ethnic diversity that has come to define its residential composition.

“Carteret is a microcosm of our national community,” Mayor Reiman stated. “I can think of few better examples of a community empowered by its diversification, nor any better gestures on our part than the range of ethnic tributes we host throughout the year to acknowledge the vibrant demographic makeup of the melting pot we are proud to call home.”


On Saturday September 8th, Carteret hosted its 37th annual Ethnic Day Festival, considered by many to be the most prominent of the Borough’s tributes to the cultures that comprise this hard working community. Highlighted by a landmark performance by American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, this year’s Ethnic Day drew an estimated 3,000 visitors in spite of rain.


This past Spring marked the 6th annual Sikh Day festival and parade, which is hosted as part of the Borough’s Flag Raising series.


“Our flag raisings have been a popular way of acknowledging other democratic nation-states,” Mayor Reiman added, “from which many of our residents have descended.”


Carteret’s Latino Festival coincided with “Hispanic Heritage Month.” According to the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.


The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.


According to Councilman and event coordinator Jorge Diaz, 23 vendors and crafters participated in Carteret’s Latino Festival, which also showcased a number of ethnic musical performances, folkloric dance demonstrations, Zumba and Salsa lessons, and a range of family-oriented fun and activities.


“We are absolutely thrilled at the level of interest and support we saw,” Councilman Diaz said. “Celebrations such as this would not be possible were it not for the enthusiasm of the community, and those who truly appreciate the heritage and traditions that are intertwined within the fabric of this great nation.”


Live musical performances were given by Combo Latino and Los 9 Del Sabor, with D.J. Starlight and D.J./M.C. Gloria B., from Amor 93.1, providing additional music and entertainment.

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