Mariachi music, salsa dancing, Latin American food and children’s activities were on the agenda Saturday at the Latin American Heritage Festival in Birmingham. The free festival, held 10 a.m.-2 p.m., drew a lively crowd to the Birmingham Museum of Art, which organized the celebration as part of National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Saturday’s lineup featured live performances by Orquesta MaCuba, tunes from DJ Mamalón Selector, a museum-wide stroll by Mariachi Premier de America and a salsa workshop with IV Motion. Face painting was on the agenda in the museum’s sculpture garden and children engaged in crafts projects in the museum’s lobby area.
The sculpture garden also includes “Reclining Nude,” an artwork created by the late Ferdinand Botero, a Colombian figurative artist and sculptor. Botero died on Sept. 15 at age 91. “Reclining Nude” is a permanent part of the Birmingham museum’s collection.
Food vendors such as Los Valedores Food Truck, Mi Pueblo’s Market and Pasteles La MoreliAna Pastries were on hand at the festival, as well. Events like this one are held throughout the country, Sept. 15-Oct. 15, for National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Organizers aim to honor the “histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America,” the Hispanic Heritage Month website says. “National Hispanic Heritage Month started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15.” See photos from Birmingham’s Latin American Heritage Festival in the gallery above. Another cultural celebration, Fiesta Birmingham, is set for Sept. 30 at Linn Park downtown.