Festival celebrates Hispanic culture
By SHEILA MULLANE ESTRADA
© St. Petersburg Times,
PINELLAS PARK -- A celebration of Hispanic culture will occur Saturday at the England Brothers Band Shell during the first Puerto Rican Patron Saint Festival to be held in Pinellas Park.
The all-day event, sponsored by the Puerto Rican Cultural Parade of Tampa Inc., was given the go-ahead last week by the City Council.
"We were surprised by the growth of the Hispanic population in this area," said Sandra Acevedo, president of the sponsoring group. "We have been holding these events in Tampa for the past 11 years, and people (in Pinellas Park) had to go there. We thought, why not have this here?"
The festival, which will honor all Puerto Rican patron saints, will be held from noon to 8 p.m. and is aimed at promoting pride in the cultural heritage of Pinellas Park's residents of Hispanic descent.
"This will be a very educational, fun day to remember," Acevedo said.
The day's events will be steeped in Hispanic culture, she said, and will include entertainment, music, ethnic foods, arts, crafts, and activities for children and adults. There is no admission fee to the festival, but visitors should be prepared to pay for food, beverages, and merchandise.
After ensuring there will be adequate security, the City Council approved the inclusion of a fenced-in "beer garden," which will be the only location where event visitors can consume alcoholic beverages. Minors will not be allowed in the beer garden and patrons will not be allowed to take their beer out of the designated area.
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