Fiesta Proposed for Sept. 19 Weekend
A proposed two-day fiesta celebrating the independence of Central America will be a first for Plainfield, organizer Edison Garcia told the City Council Tuesday.
Garcia said other cities, including Elizabeth, Jersey City and Paterson mark the Sept. 15 date with celebrations, so why not Plainfield? He is asking permission to use city parking lots 8 and 8-A, between Somerset Street and Watchung Avenue, for the event. It will span the weekend on Saturday, Sept. 19 and Sunday, Sept. 20 from noon to 7 p.m. each day.
The origins of the holiday date back to 1821, although its history has been a bit rocky, according to a Revue Magazine article online. Depending on what source one consults, the holiday is marked in countries including or not including Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. Here is a Wikipedia post on the holiday.
Garcia owns a nightclub at 111 East Front Street and said all businesses on the block will participate. Some restaurants will bring food outside and there will be beer stations on a one-day alcoholic beverage permit.
It is widely believed that there are more than 50,000 residents in the city, but for various reasons, Latinos have shunned being counted.
Garcia said event organizers will provide for security, including the presence of police, fire and rescue squad personnel.
After Garcia indicated the event will also include sidewalk encroachments on East Front Street, Councilman Cory Storch noted that was not stated on the resolution.
Storch also suggested use of the plaza in front of the Park-Madison office building, saying the event would be “hidden” in the parking lots behind stores. But Garcia said it would be hard for restaurants to move their kitchens from their locations on the block to the plaza across Park Avenue.
The resolution granting permission for the event is up for approval Monday. The council meeting is 8 p.m. in Municipal Court, 325 Watchung Ave.