HENDERSON — On Friday, Gang Free Inc. is hosting the Hispanic Heritage Festival in collaboration with the Vance County Arts Council. The festival will be downtown on Breckenridge Street from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
In addition to the Art Council, Gang Free is partnering with Community Health Workers funded by Partners in Health, the city of Henderson, Smart Start and the HUBZone Technology Initiative.
During the festival, there will be performances by local churches like Monte de Sion church and traditional dances from Colombia and Mexico. There will also be food and games highlighting Hispanic culture.
“This is going to be our second Hispanic Heritage Festival,” said City Councilwoman Melissa Elliot, who’s Gang Free’s founder. “Two weeks ago we had over 500 Hispanics and what I saw were Mexicans, El Salvadorans, Columbians, Puerto Ricans, Panamanians, and I saw all of these different Hispanic cultures come together and just love each other. I think the Hispanic community can teach us a lot.”
Organizers from Gang Free and the Vance County Arts Council are hoping the community can learn from the Hispanic Heritage Festival. The Arts Council was recently awarded a grant for multicultural art programs, and set aside funds to support Hispanic Heritage Month.
“We know there is a large Hispanic population in Vance County,” Arts Council Executive Director Alice Sallins. “Our community is a melting pot. I wanted to embrace other cultures.”