‘Fiesta Spokane’ Celebrates Hispanic Heritage in City

By Paige Browning

September will mark a first for Spokane- a celebration of Hispanic heritage hosted by the city. Fiesta Spokane will last all month, highlighting Hispanic culture in food, entertainment, and dancing.
When Gloria Ochoa was hired as Spokane’s first director of local government and multicultural affairs, she noticed something. City Hall didn’t actually have much involvement in celebrating cultural diversity. So she took notes from cities like Los Angeles, which plans events around the four nationally recognized heritage months.
Ochoa: “So we just used that framework, and with time and resources and momentum this is just the first one that we had enough time, from when I started in December, kind of getting to know the community.”
And the community is who she hopes will come to the Fiesta Spokane events. It starts off with an announcement from the Mayor on Tuesday, the second, then a month long film series, and culminates with the Fiesta Heritage Festival on September 20th in Riverfront Park. If the music and dancing aren’t enough, she says there will be food.
Ochoa: “So it’s an opportunity for the Hispanic community to share our culture with the city. To learn about what it is to be a Latino, what our food is, what our customs and traditions are.”
Fiesta Spokane will be the first in a series of four nationally recognized months. The city will honor the heritages of Native Americans in November, African Americans in February, and Asian Pacific Islanders in May.
Copyright 2014 Spokane Public Radio
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