Inglewood, CA – All eyes were on the City of Inglewood once again. The City of Inglewood presented its annual Hispanic Heritage Festival on Saturday, September 14, 2019, from 11:00am-4:30pm. The event was free for the entire community to enjoy this fun-filled day.
The festival featured a new, larger layout. The festival was held at City Hall-Civic Center North Plaza, along Regent Street from La Brea to Fir Avenue. I heard nothing but good remarks about the new venue, as well as the stellar lineup of musicians who performed.
Hispanic Heritage Celebrations recognizes and celebrates the rich heritage and contributions made by Hispanic and Latino Americans.
Radio Personality Josefa Salinas, 104.7FM returned for her seventh year as Mistress of Ceremonies.
The flag draped stage, representing Central, South and North American countries added a special touch to the festivities.
The festival got underway with Master percussionist/singer Maestro Lazaro Galarraga leading SitaraSon. The group spiced up the festival with some hot Afro-Cuban rhythms. Their set featured originals, standard Latin tunes as well as Latin arrangement of pop tunes. The band consisted of Maestro Lazaro Galarraga-congas, Bobby Wilmore-bongos, Jon-O Knight-guitar and Julian Lampert-bass.
Singer Pedrito Fregoso has been a regular performer at the festival since he was five years old. This is a true testament to his talents and his dedication to the genre. Pedrito Fregoso’s show stopping featured his regaling the audience with his singer while playing the harp.
City officials- Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, City Councilmembers, City Treasurer and California State Senator Steven Bradford, District 35, extended a welcome to the diverse, multi-cultural crowd in attendance for the festival. He thanked the sponsors and thanked each member of the Hispanic Heritage Festival committee.
The Los Angeles Rams continues to give to the community as well as invest in the youth through scholarships. Andrea Ostorga, Nayeli Urbina and Javier Avelar were three local students to receive scholarships as well as tickets to an upcoming home game between the Rams vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Maria Camacho-Director of Government Affairs assisted by two Rams cheerleaders presented the scholarships to the students onstage.
The celebration wouldn’t be complete without a crowd-pleasing performance by two-time Grammy Award winner, Mariachi Divas. Founder/Leader Cindy Shea stated that the talented group has been together for twenty years. They are as popular as ever and in demand, considering their ongoing tour schedule. Pedrito Fregoso was an added surprise to their set. What a treat for the crowd to witness this awesome performance.
La Sonora Dinamita turned up the throttle, for another classic, high-octane set of cumbias to the delight of dancers.
The vibrant, colorful Ballet Folklorico Macias showcased traditional folkloric dances from various regions of Mexico.
The party was in full swing. The Reel Band closed out the annual Hispanic Heritage Festival on a high note that left the crowd wanting more.
In between live performances awesome raffles prizes were presented to lucky recipients. The raffle prizes consisted of a USC Gift basket, Women’s Self Care gift basket, back packs filled with school supplies, various pieces of jewelry including pieces from designer Kendra Scott. Beyoncé and Rihanna have worn jewelry by Kendra Scott.
Additional highlights from the festival consisted of a classic Car Show, pre 1970 vehicles, followed by a Car Show Awards Presentation.
The day-long celebration included Interactive Carnival Style Games, Arts & Crafts, Face Paintings, Community Resource Information Area, Artisan and Merchant booths, and free Health Screenings. A variety of food vendors served up delicious meals for the large group of attendees to the festival.
Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based music reviewer, writer and photographer.