Monday, September 24, 2007

Hispanic Heritage Festival

Next Sunday, the 7th Annual Hispanic Heritage Festival will be held downtown.

The Latin American Coalition won City Council permission Wednesday to close West Front Street between Park and Madison avenues from10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 30. The rain date is Oct. 7.

Plainfield is a city of many communities that tend not to mingle as much as they could. Over the past couple of years, I have been fortunate enough to learn more about the lives of Latinos in Plainfield at festivals, celebrations and even shopping at Twin City. Many people say the thing they like best about Plainfield is its diversity, but when it comes to cross-cultural sharing, the opportunities are not always taken.

Sunday might be a good time for non-Hispanics to see what is going on at the festival. A bonus would be a walk around the Park-Madison building to see all the new businesses that have located there.

For families who want to know more about the people who now constitute the nation’s largest minority, here is a reading list for both children and adults. Hispanic Heritage Month began Sept. 15. Read a book, get a slice of Tres Leches cake at Arturo Marroquin’s bakery on Park Avenue, admire your new Latino neighbor’s garden, sample the offerings at the new Alan’s Mexican restaurant or any of several dozen other Latino restaurants in the city. Diversity really is one of Plainfield’s greatest assets.
--Bernice Paglia


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