Free event runs 6 – 8 p.m. on Friday, September 16
by Reena Alsakaji
LANSING, Ill. (August 14, 2022) – For the first time in its history, the Lansing Public Library will hold a Hispanic Heritage Fiesta on Friday, September 16, just in time for National Hispanic Heritage Month. The event will take place in the back lot of the library at 2750 Indiana Ave from 6 – 8 p.m. Entry is free and open to all, and the event will also provide free food and activities for all of Lansing to join.
Fiesta for all
The Hispanic Heritage Fiesta will feature live music, games such as Lotería and hopscotch, as well as scheduled Encanto characters from the 2021 Disney film. The food will include tacos, chips and salsa, and possibly ice cream. Commemorating both culture and history from Hispanic-American citizens, the event is just in time for the upcoming arrival of National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 – October 15.
A Hispanic Heritage Week was established in 1968 which was further extended to a month in 1988. The idea behind holding a Hispanic Heritage Fiesta to celebrate the month came from Lansing Public Library’s Andrew Harootunian, who is working alongside the Adult Outreach department headed by David Boomker. With the advent of the month in mind, as well as the Hispanic population in Lansing, Harootunian wanted to establish an event that could tie the community together.
“I was looking at the overall area of Lansing and seeing how there’s a lot of Hispanic population here and I really wanted to do something for the community,” Harootunian said. “So that led me into being like, ‘well, why don’t we do this’ and we have a bigger Fiesta. It was the perfect time for Hispanic Heritage Month.”
Harootunian also plans to reach out to several small Hispanic-owned businesses in Lansing to both spread the word about the event, and to attend. He plans to have the event serve as a fun experience in itself, but also to act in conjunction with the library’s other goals of outreach, such as the Library Mobile Book Runner. With Harootunian’s several goals in mind, he not only desires to bring the community together with a singular event, but to continue this annual tradition into the future.
“The goal is just to get people to come together,” Harootunian said. “Having a good sense of community brings everyone together kind of how the block party does. It’s a free event–everyone comes in. The library is more so becoming a community hub. And we really want to show that.”
The Lansing Public Library is located at 2750 Indiana Avenue.