FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Fayetteville Square was full of vendors and music as the city celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month over the weekend.
“This is the second-largest demographic in our area,” said Michelle Smith, director of events with the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. “So, it’s important to celebrate and come together as one.”
The Chamber of Commerce hosted the Hispanic Heritage Festival, asking the Hispanic community what they can do to help celebrate them.
“They started to go ‘what could we do, how can we connect, how can we celebrate?’” said event emcee Alvin Lopez quoting the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce. “So, that really gives you a sense of belonging.”
During the event, Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan, officially decreed Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 Hispanic Heritage Month across the city.
“It’s important," said Joshua Price, event attendee and candidate for Secretary of State. “With a diverse population in Northwest Arkansas, [it’s] to have an event for the community and introduce everyone to a different culture that maybe they didn’t know about.”
The event also featured more than 60 vendors hoping to serve and connect to the Hispanic community.
“Our vendors that are here want to make sure that everyone feels included,” Smith said. “That they have the resources and that they know where to go if they need help.”
Vendors provided information on things such as the COVID-19 vaccine as well as several food trucks.
Voter registration forms were also being passed out at the event in English and Spanish, encouraging people to vote.
“We got so many people out here that are probably not registered, don’t even know how to be registered," Price said. "So, it was part of our goal just to come out here today to make sure people are registered to vote so they can make the voice heard."
The event also featured a car show, live music and local acts from the Hispanic community.
“It gives us a sense that we belong here, this is home,” Lopez said.
Lopez also says this is the largest event turn out he's seen over the past nine years.