2015 Festival Latino Set for Bicentennial Park This Weekend

Festival Latino, the two-day, family-friendly, free celebration of family, community, and Latin American culture, will be held Saturday and Sunday, August 8 and 9, from 11 am-8 pm each day. Due to continuing City construction in Genoa Park, the 2015 Festival Latino will again be held in Bicentennial Park.


Saturday, August 8

12:30pm - David Lamus

1:45pm - Grupo Persa

This Columbus-based Mexican musical group consists of eight young men who perform Latin dance music such as cumbia, sacadito, norteña, y quebradita.

3:00pm - Al Son Del Iya

This tropical music group pays homage to a variety of Latin musicians including Hector Lavoe, Tito Puente, Ray Barretto, Celia Cruz, Willie Colon, Joe Arroyo, Olga Tañon, and more.

4:15pm - Jose Peña Suazo y La Banda Gorda

Dominican - Merengue

After years of experience working as a performer, composer, and arranger, Dominican-born trumpet player Jose Peña Suazo established his own merengue music project, La Banda Gorda. The group's first album, Libre al Fin (1994), launched the group into stardom in the Dominican Republic, and its second album, Candela Pura (1995), made them a national and international music phenomenon known for its diverse style and Caribbean flavor.

6:15pm - Luis Vargas

Dominican - Bachata

Singing and playing lead guitar, Luis Vargas is one of the Dominican Republic's most popular bachata musicians. He was one of the first to play bachata with the electric guitar, an innovation which contributed to the genre's expanding popularity. One of the most active live bachata acts in recent years, Vargas has added an urban Reggaeton style to his performances.

Sunday, August 9

12:15pm - El Seven

Ignacio Zarco, better known as El Seven, is a composer, producer, and singer that will digitally release album Con Sentimiento in 2015, showcasing his signature style of mixing a variety of Latin styles of music.

1:30 pm - Latin Fashion Show

Catch a showcase and celebration of modern Latino style as local adults and children model a progression of fashion from traditional Latin clothing through the modern designs of today.

2:30 pm - Ritmo Ondas featuring Zancudo

4:15pm - Banda Machos

Mexican - Banda/Quebradita

Now touring in celebration of their 25-year career, Banda Machos has essentially combined Banda with cumbia to create Quebradita, a danceable style of the traditional Banda music. After more than 20 albums to their credit, this Mexican band has become known as "La Reina de las Bandas" (Queen of the Bands) because of their unique costumes and early contributions to the Quebradita genre.

6:15pm - Oscar D'Leon

Venezuelan - Salsa/Caribbean

Better known as "El León de la Salsa (Salsa's Lion)," Venezuelan singer Oscar D' León is one of the world's most prominent authors and performers of salsa and Caribbean music. His musical career spans a trajectory of more than 30 years, recording more than 50 albums inspired mainly by Benny Moré and Cuban sounds.

Additional main stage attractions include:

Special Festival Host - B. A-Star

Richard Bastar Jr., known as B. A-Star, is a former member of the group Tercera Generation (or 3G) with his brothers, boasting the fact that they are the third generation of Bastar in the music industry. Now pursuing a solo project, B. A-Star has created a new urban dance sound, releasing more than ten singles since 2011.

DJ Cale

DJ Cale caters to Caribbean and Latin American tastes, spinning salsa, merengue, bachata, reggaeton, Latin pop, Latin dance, house, and a touch of American Top 40 music. He will be providing music from the main stage throughout the Festival.

STATE AUTO Children's Area

12 pm - 6 pm daily, no charge for activities

Children's area activities will include:

Balloon Twisters - Balloon artists from Creative Distinctions will create fun balloon designs for children from 2-4pm daily.

Columbus Metro Parks - Children can see and learn about a local animal and get their hand stamped with animal tracks.

COSI's Science Spot - This traveling exhibition gives families the opportunity to play, explore, and learn about science together with hands-on kiosks featuring activities to help children learn about basic science concepts, including force and motion, structures, magnetism, gadgets, and more.

Mexican Flowers - Big, beautiful flowers are used in Mexico to decorate on days of celebration. Join the members of Organización de Damas Latinas as they help children construct these colorful creations.

Scioto Mile Fountain - The spectacular 15,000 square-foot fountain has more than 1,000 jets of water and interactive features for children of all ages.

Other children's activities include:

Creation Station - The Creation Station is designed to engage the entire family with hands-on activities to encourage families, friends, teams, troops, and the like to work together creatively to rediscover fun without the use of modern day technology. State Auto and the Columbus Museum of Art will introduce a multi-generational arts-and-crafts project-creativity with a "twist!" Attendees will work together to use twist ties to design and build creations limited only by your imagination.

Mascots - Costumed mascots from a variety of Columbus sports teams and companies will make appearances throughout the two-day event including Columbia Gas' Cozy Cat, McDonald's Ronald McDonald, Bob Evans' Biscuit and Gravy, and the Columbus Clippers' Lou Seal.


Ohio-based Latin artists will display and sell their visual artwork in the Artists' Showcase area. Featured artists in 2015 will include:

Abraham Cordova - Winner of the 2002 Scholastic Art and Writing American Visions Award and a 2006 graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design, Cordova specializes in portraits done with watercolors, charcoal, and colored pencils. He is a self-employed tattoo artist, and a full-time fine artist.

Additional visual artists will be announced on the Festival's web site.


Ohio-based Latin writers will display and sell their work in the Authors' Showcase area. Featured authors in 2015 will include:

Victoria Calderón Nunes - Nunes is a marketing professional, entrepreneur, and published author with 13 years of experience in the media, corporate, non-profit, and small business sectors. In 2014, she wrote and published the bilingual, safe sleep children's book Welcome Home, My Little One/Bienvenido a Casa, Mi Chiquito to raise awareness aboaut SIDS/SUID prevention.

Ani Palacios - Editor-in-chief of Contacto Latino and Pukiyari Editores, Palacios has won several International Latino Book Awards for best novel, including 2010 with Nos vemos en Purgatorio, 2011 with Plumbago Torres y el sueño americano, and 2014 with the inspirational novel, 99 Amaneceres. Most recently, she has published Noche de Penas (2014) and No Strings Attached (2015).

Silvia Carrillo Rodríguez - Born in Mexico, Rodríguez moved to the US with her husband in 1998, and now resides in Columbus. She is author of Un Cubano Más, a fictional account of a young Cuban boy forced to leave behind a life he loves to escape the tyranny of the Cuban government.


Presented by the Ohio Commission on Minority Health, the Health & Wellness Area will host a variety of local health and social service organizations offering bilingual information on the services they offer. Participating organizations include:

  • American Red Cross of Greater Columbus
  • Central Ohio Diabetes Association
  • El Centro de Servicios Sociales, Inc.
  • Franklin County Office on Aging
  • Maryhaven
  • Mount Carmel Health System
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe Center of Catholic Social Services
  • St. Vincent Family Center
  • U.S. Department of Labor--OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

Community Resources Area

The Community Resources area will offer information about local education and community programs. Participating organizations include:

  • Attorney General
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio
  • Celerity Tenacia Charter School
  • Columbus Bilingual Academy North
  • Columbus City Schools Department of Adult and Community Education
  • Delaware County District Library
  • Dominican Sisters of Peace
  • Educators and Community Helping Hispanics Onward (ECHHO)
  • Girl Scouts of Ohio's Heartland Council, Inc.
  • Homes On The Hill CDC (Community Development Corporation)
  • La Iglesiu de Jesucristo SUD
  • Organizacion de Damas Latinas
  • Miss Ohio Latina
  • Partners For Responsible Trade, Inc.
  • Whitefields of America, Inc.
  • Women's Business Center of Ohio/ECDI

Food Vendors

Festival Latino will offer a variety of cuisine from Latin America and beyond.


The Festival Latino marketplace will include jewelry, arts, crafts, and a variety of other traditional items from Latin America.

Festival Policy

Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs for lawn seating.

Not permitted in Bicentennial Park:

  • Unauthorized vehicles on sidewalks or in the parks
  • Commercial activities, including soliciting and/or vending without permission from CAPA
  • Panhandling
  • Camping
  • Cooking grills or open fires
  • Feeding the geese or other wildlife
  • Illegal drug use
  • Illegal weapons
  • Alcohol (except that purchased on site at the event)
  • Glass containers
  • Unleashed pets/animals or pets/animals in the fountains
  • Skateboards
  • Large shade structures including tents and umbrellas (both for patio and chair)
  • Staking of any type
  • Coolers
  • Bicycles (to be parked in designated areas)

Rain Policy - Festival Latino is a rain or shine event. There is no rain location.

Parking - Paid parking for the public and handicapped is available at COSI (333 W. Broad St.), the Columbus Commons garage (55 E. Rich St.), and nearby surface lots.

Bicycle Parking - Bicycle racks will be located at various locations throughout the Festival.

All acts and scheduled performance times are subject to change without notice. For more, visit www.FestivalLatino.net.

Owner/operator of downtown Columbus' magnificent historic theatres (Ohio Theatre, Palace Theatre, Southern Theatre) and manager of the Riffe Center Theatre Complex, Lincoln Theatre, and the Shubert Theater (New Haven, CT), CAPA is a non-profit, award-winning presenter of national and international performing arts and entertainment. For more information, visit www.capa.com.

Photo Credit: Randall L. Schieber

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