By LOIS KINDLE
There’s going to be one hot party Sept. 14 at E.G. Simmons Regional Park, and you, your family and friends are invited join the fun.
“Festival Caliente is for the entire community,” said organizer Joe “Mr. Tampa” Zuniga, an award-winning, regional Mexican artist who is headlining the event. “It’s a celebration of Mexican and Latino culture, which we want people of all heritages to experience.”
Sponsored by GTE Financial, the festival will celebrate Hispanic heritage and Mexican Independence Day by featuring authentic Mexican, Latin, Cuban and Puerto Rican food, Corona, Modelo and Bud Light beer, lively entertainment and dance. Proceeds will benefit the Ruskin Community Development Foundation.
“We’re blessed and excited to be part of this wonderful event, which will benefit RCDF and its efforts in the community,” said board member Debbie Caneen.
Celebrity emcee DJ Moyo will welcome Latin Grammy-nominated solo artist Zuniga (Mexican, Latin and country); Grupo Guerra Paz (Tejano); Mariachi Loco; and Aramis y Sol Caribe (salsa, merengue and bachata). DJ Benny Boy and DJ Tavo will provide mixes of regional Mexican, Latino and Tejano music between acts.
The event will also feature children from RCMA Wimauma Academy, who will open the festival with the presentation of the American and Mexican flags, the folkloric dance team, Folklorico Sones de Mexico, and arts and crafts. La Ley Radio 107.7 FM (1550 AM) will broadcast live from the park during the festival.
Tickets are $10 in advance through Eventbrite at https://bit.ly/2NOP0X1 or by purchase at Cruz Mex in Ruskin and the Little Store and Garcia’s Bakery in Wimauma. The cost is $15 at the door. Children 12 and younger get in free. Admission is also free for members of the military, first responders and teachers with valid IDs. There is a $2 per car entry fee to the park.
Other event sponsors include Lola Apartments, D & L Insurance, Drew’s RV, La Ley 107.7 FM (1550 AM), Estrella TV, Suncoast Credit Union, TECO, MOSI, WellMed, Zuniga Marketing, Rae’s Accounting and Total Automotive Services. Vendors, sponsors or volunteers interested in helping the day of the festival can email email@example.com or call 813-658-8446.
Mexican Independence Day is celebrated annually in Mexico on Sept. 16 with parades, feasts, festivals and other forms of revelry. It’s observed to commemorate the beginning of Mexico’s revolt against Spanish rule, which eventually led to the country’s independence.
If You Go
WHAT: Festival Caliente, a celebration of Mexican and Latino music and culture
WHERE: E.G. Simmons Regional Park, 2401 19th Ave. NW, Ruskin
WHEN: Noon to 7 p.m. Sept. 14
ADMISSION: $10 in advance, $15 at the door; military, first responders and teachers with valid IDs and children 12 and younger, free
PARK ENTRANCE: $2 per carload
INFORMATION: firstname.lastname@example.org; 813-658-8446