It’s mid-afternoon at El Rancho Spanish Restaurant. Dora Arevalo, owner of El Rancho Restaurant and Orlando Martinez, dance instructor and entertainer, are intensely engaged in planning the second Festival Mi Tierra Calle 87 (My Homeland 87th Street Festival), taking place July 14 to 16.
“Sure the theme and the focus originates from our traditions in El Salvador, but it expands from there to include all of Latin America. We will even have a tango presentation,” said Arevalo, explaining why they are committing the time and energy to another weekend celebration. “We had a great turnout last year. Not just Latinos but the whole community.”
The weekend festival will take place inside and outside El Rancho Spanish Restaurant on 118 Avenue and 87 Street, beginning Friday at 4 pm and ending Sunday at 8 pm.
Friday kicks off with performances from Raíces Salvadoreñas, a local and mesmerizing female dance troupe in beautifully extravagant, flowing skirts.
Throughout the weekend, local bands Rumba Caliente, Nevada Gaitera, Maladanzas, and others will provide live music. Martinez will entertain as well as teach Salsa dancing. Festival goers can enjoy Salvadorean and Mexican food at El Rancho Spanish Restaurant or sip Corona and Negra Modelo beer or a traditional Salvadorean beverage called horchata made with rice, spices, cocoa, and ground seeds and nuts. Horchata is strained before serving.
Outside, attractions include a beer tent and a clothing and craft shop.
Sunday morning will feature special events for children, including dance lessons.
“We have to share, we have to dance, we have to celebrate. That is what we do as Latinos,” Arevalo explained enthusiastically, effusing Salvadorean hospitality.
Keep informed on the ever-evolving schedule at facebook.com/FestivalMiTierraCalle87/.
FESTIVAL MI TIERRA CALLE 87
Inside & outside of El Rancho Spanish Restaurant (11810 87 St)
July 14 to 16
Friday, 4 to 11 pm
Saturday, 11 am to 11 pm
Sunday, 11 am to 8 pm
Featured Image: Cristina and Vicente Muñoz will be dancing tango at the festival. | Supplied