RICHMOND, Va. -- The ¿Qué Pasa? Festival returns this weekend and includes a day of celebrations, and local sports teams joining the festivities, Michel Zajur, president of Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce said.
“We’re making this a Cinco de Mayo, Qué Pasa weekend. We’re partnering with the Richmond Squirrels and Richmond Kickers the night before for a Cinco de Mayo baseball game and soccer game,” Zajur said. “Then the ¿Qué Pasa? Festival, the next day so it’s a big weekend.”
The festival has been a part of the Richmond scene for over two decades, to show off the culture of Latin America through food, music entertainment, vendors and even embassy members, Zajur said.
“It’s like being in Latin America that day, in downtown Richmond, without having to take a plane to go to Latin America,” Zajur said.
The festival has grown every year, Zajur even had to “cut off” vendors because the spaces became sold out, he said. To keep up with the demand of the event, the location changed from downtown and the canal to Brown’s Island, Zajur said.
“It’s a beautiful location. We’re excited to have it because really we need kind of a bigger footprint and this [Brown’s Island] has a lot of amenities to make it easier for the guests and for the vendors,” Zajur said.
The festival will have over 100 entertainers, food trucks and vendors to celebrate the Latino culture, Zajur said.
The ¿Qué Pasa? Festival is this Saturday, May 6, it is free to attend and people can use both cash and credit cards as a form of payment, Zajur said. “Those attending can expect to see people in costumes from different countries, gorgeous dresses, dancers and entertainers throughout the day, mixed in with fun activities kids and families can enjoy,” Zajur said.
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Isidro Galvez, the director and cofounder of Ballet Folklorico Mi Herencia Mexicana, a non-profit organization to promote and preserve Mexican Folklore, was asked to participate in the festival, according to Galvez.
This will be the first time the dance group will be featured at the ¿Qué Pasa? Festival, he said.
“It was a good feeling to know our hard work has been recognized,” Galvez said. “They [event organizers] said they saw our recent promotional stuff from a recent performance and asked if we would be interested in performing.”
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Ballet Folklorico Mi Herencia Mexicana will show off folk dances highlighting two regions and states of Mexico, Sinaloa and Jalisco, Galvez said.
“Each state of Mexico has their own folk dancing, costume, music that is played and mannerisms,” Galvez said. “Right away it’s eye-catching people will see the dancers in their colorful costumes, lively music and dancing. People will get attracted to that.” Galvez is thankful for a festival like this to take place in Virginia’s capital as a way to come together, represent Mexico and represent the culture, he said.
He hopes participating in the ¿Qué Pasa? Festival will bring more exposure to his dance company, especially since they are located in Northern Virginia, Galvez said.
“It allows people that live locally in Richmond to see that there is this kind of dance group in the state,” Galvez said.
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