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Wednesday, April 30, 2014
5th Annual Corazón Latino Festival

What is now know as the Corazón Latino Festival, first took place in Downtown Johnson City four years ago, as part of the First Friday Events. It emerged as a way to engage the community and celebrate Hispanic art and culture. The brainchild of Jackie Turnquist a Federal Work Study of the Language and Culture Resource Center and Mathew Wampler of AmeriCorps Vista; they partnered with East Tennessee State Universtiy and Johnson City’s Friends of Olde Downtown to bring this unique and exciting celebration of cultural heritage to the community.

In 2010 the festival drew in a crowd of 300 and has continued exponential growth thanks to like-minded community members, organizations, and businesses that shared in community-oriented values. Through their efforts last year’s event was the biggest festival to date with more than 2,700 in attendance. Because of this growth the festival had to find a new home; this year’s event will take place on May 3rd in Historic Downtown Jonesborough. The 5th Annual Corazón Latino Festival is projected to draw in 4,000 people from the region to celebrate the rich and vibrant Latino culture.

Kicking the festival off at noon is a mock “Running of the Bulls” with the Little City Roller Girls, followed by the excitement of Brazilian Fire Dancers at 1pm. The evening will be filled with music of Latin Jazz and Latino Pop along with Latin dancing lessons. Other activities include the Latino Pride Parade, storytelling, living museum performance art, and a student film showcase. There will also be plenty for the kids to do in the ChicoZone; face painting, traditional hair braiding, bilingual children's stories, an obstacle course, Spanish scavenger hunt, mask making, crafts, and special guest appearances by Dora, Diego, and others. In addition to all the music and activities a variety of food vendors will be on-hand including traditional food, a chamoy station, paletas (ice-cream bars), and taco trucks.

The Corazón Latino Festival will be a day of fun for the whole family and admission is FREE. This celebration not only helps to serve the Latino community but also works foster a better understanding of Hispanic cultural to all the peoples who call the Tri-Cities home. The festivities start at noon and last until 10pm. For more festival information visit the Corazón Latino facebook page at facebook.com/CorazonLatinoFestival or follow the celebration on twitter at twitter.com/corazonlatino14.

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