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1,000 visitors expected for Family Salsa Festival

Published on: March 18, 2015

By KEVIN BRADY

The salsa contest drew plenty of curious palates. Good Samaritan Mission photos.

The salsa contest drew plenty of curious palates.
Good Samaritan Mission photos.

Fun and a little education will go hand-in-hand at this weekend’s Family Salsa Festival at the Good Samaritan Mission in Wimauma.

With vendors, music, games and, of course, every type of salsa you can imagine — and some you probably can’t — the event will also feature more than 40 vendors. Mixed in with the arts and crafts and food vendors will be government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and social service agencies, and more.

It’s all part of the mission at Good Samaritan to not just help the needy but, more importantly, let them know what resources are available to help themselves. At the same time, the event moves the Mission toward its long-term goal of becoming a community center for Wimauma.

The festival is slated for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 21, on the Mission’s grounds, 14920 Balm Wimauma Road. Parking and admission are free.

Chantal Wilson-Jacques shops at the ConKerr Cancer booth at last year’s Salsa Festival.

Chantal Wilson-Jacques shops at the ConKerr Cancer booth at last year’s Salsa Festival.

“Everyone has been stepping up to the plate and helping us,” said Rebecca Reynal, who is assisting Anne Madden, Bill Cruz Jr. and Jennifer Daly with the event. Reynal and her husband retired to Sun City Center two years ago.

The festival will also have family entertainment, dancing, music and lots of children’s activities, including a chili pepper treasure hunt.

The event’s salsa competition will feature, among other varieties, Fruit Salsa, El Chocolatte Salsa and Senior Salsa: Mild and Mellow. For $2, visitors can sample every salsa in the contest and vote for their favorites.

Raffle tickets are $5 for three tickets with prizes including a one-night stay at The Resort and Club at Little Harbor; Florida sports memorabilia; beauty products and jewelry; and kitchen items, among others.

The idea for the festival was born four years ago when the Mission was trying to come up with a new fundraising idea.

“We are always looking for ways to improve the Mission and make it more community-minded,” said Cruz, executive director. “So in our staff meeting, I said, ‘I would love to put Wimauma on the map,’ so we thought Plant City has the Strawberry Festival and Apollo Beach has the Seafood Festival. And then my wife, Teresa, suggested a salsa festival.”

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page – Family Salsa Festival – or visit www.gsmission.org.

Vendors

Among the food vendors at the event will be: 

Ana’s Food Truck

The Gringo Grill

Holy Cow Kettle Corn

Clark Family Food Stand

New Life Concessions

Entertainment for the event will include:

DJ Luis Molina

JSA/Gus Adams Salsa Dance Team performance

Theatre Arts and Dance Alliance performance

Brandon Ballet performance

Egypt Shrine clowns

Sun City Center Railroad Club

Wimauma Mutiny RYSA U-17

Wimauma Redbulls Soccer Team

Maxima 92.5 Street Team

Vendors for the event include: 

Patty’s Bows

C.A.R.E Animal Shelter

LifePath Hospice

Alzheimer’s Association Memory Bus

University of Florida Hillsborough County Extension Service

US Equal Employment Opportunities Commission

US Citizenship & Immigration Services

Florida Council on Crime & Delinquency

Bay Area Legal Services

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