Liz Miranda and her husband, Enrique Miranda, both of Juliet, had gone out to the Latino Music and Food Festival because Enrique was a bit hungry, Liz said with a smile.
Enrique agreed and said he ordered some tacos.
He said, “I loved them.”
The Joliet Latino Economic Development Association hosted a Latino Music and Food Festival on Saturday with eight hours of music, food, a mechanical bull and more than 40 vendors at Van Buren Plaza in downtown Joliet.
Jonathan Butler, 16, from Juliet, was there with his family and having a good time.
“I’m just walking around eating, looking at the stores,” Butler said.
Butler recommended funnel cakes.
A Latin music and food festival was held the day after Mexico’s Independence Day, the start of Spanish Heritage Month.
The Grito de Dolores party to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day was held at the Mexican Consulate in Chicago.
Ana Perez has been handing out flyers to Golden Stars Casa De La Cultura, which just opened at 225 E. Clinton St. in Joliet.
Perez said the organization offers free motivational lessons, guitar, and Spanish and Mexican dance, to name a few.
“I like to dance,” Perez said. “I love my culture. I was born in Mexico and I remember dancing in school. I just want to share it.”
The headline at the Latino Music and Food Fest was Dareyes de la Sierra, a popular Nortino variety from Sonora in Mexico.
Other bands included ChiOax from Chicago, Tamanaco Tambor, which plays Venezuelan percussion music, and Sangre Norteña.
Local troupes included the Comunidad Mariachi and Impresso 815. Among the performers was the Folklorico de Chicago dance troupe.
Juliet’s Isabel Zavala was lounging listening to music, waiting for her cousin who recommended the festival to her.
“All the food smells so good,” Zavala said.
Kelly Rohder Tonelli, executive director of communications and marketing at Juliet Junior College, was also there with the booth. Rohder-Tonelli spoke with people who stopped at the booth and distributed JJC prints.
“I’m glad to be here,” said Roder Tonelli. “You’ve made some great connections.”
Ruder Tonelli said JJC graduates stopped at the booth simply to say, “Hello.”
“I had an 84 year old who stopped and said, ‘I graduated from JJC,'” Ruder Tonelli said.