Latino Cultural Fest kicks off this weekend |

Latino Cultural Fest kicks off this weekend

by F.T. Norton
Jose ChaidezThe crowd at last year's Latino Cultural Festival enjoy a concert.

The second annual Latino Cultural Fest at the Gold Dust West kicks off with a parade through the city Saturday morning.

Jose Chaidez, organizer and member of Comunidad Latina Unida/United Latino Community, said the festival takes the place of the Salsa Y Salsas once hosted by Nevada Hispanic Services.

This year’s parade begins at

11 a.m. at the Carson City Sheriff’s Office and winds its way up Fifth Street, to Carson Street, then to William Street and east to Gold Dust West. The grand marshal is Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell and parade entries include mounted riders, Carson High School’s NJROTC, supervisors Pete Livermore and Robin Williamson and the Alma Latina Car Club.

“We’re excited to have our leaders joining us,” said Chaidez.

The two-day festival begins at noon Saturday and Sunday and there will be food vendors, live music and DJs, said Chaidez.

He said the event is a perfect forum for bridging the chasm between the Hispanic and Caucasian communities.

“The most important thing to me is that the people of Carson City know that we want to be a part of the community,” he said. “We’ve tried to incorporate everybody and include everybody.”

On Saturday, there also will be a moment of silence to honor those lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Among the information booths at the event will the Nevada Highway Patrol, Carson City Sheriff’s Office, Partnership Carson City and a CPR class.

“We have a lot of great energy,” Chaidez said of the Hispanic community. “We’re not a lot of those negative things that you hear. People should come out and do a little Latin dancing and have a taco and a burrito, just like we come out to enjoy the other events in Carson City like the wine walk.”

Members of the Carson City Sheriff’s Office not only will provide an escort during the parade, they also will participate in the festival.

“This is a cultural events festival that’s all about connecting the community. We’ll use it as an educational venue for the entire community. It’s about getting connected, it’s really a good thing,” said Sheriff Ken Furlong.