Hispanic Festival brings Latin food, music to Hagerstown

September 16, 2010|By CHRIS COPLEY
  • Singers David Bohorquez, from left, Vivian Mojica and Walter Marcos front the band Salsaley Orquesta. The eight-member band will perform twice at the Hagerstown Hispanic Festival on Sunday.
Photo by Vino Photography,

Live music, local dancers, authentic food and a soccer tournament -- that's what people expect at the Hagerstown Hispanic Festival.

This year's festival will be like last year's, said Diana Reyes, president of the Hispanic Association of Hagerstown, the event's organizer.

"It's pretty much the same, Reyes said. "It's a set-up we've been using since we first started and it works."

There's no admission for the festival. Activities include adult and youth soccer tournaments, children's activities, face painting and community information tables.

Food will be available from two restaurants, El Paso of Hagerstown and El Taco Rico of Frederick, Md. Reyes said food offerings will include pupusas, empanadas and grilled steaks.

This year's entertainment emcee is a local DJ, David Bohorquez, who performs as DJ Niche. Bohorquez will also perform with his eight-member band, Salsaley Orquesta. Bohorquez said the band plays merengue, salsa and other Latin music styles and will try to appeal to people familiar with Latin music and to newcomers.


"We try to do both. Some people have never heard salsa, so we try to put on a little bit of a show. Do some dance, too," he said. "We try to play music from different countries."

Salsaley Orquesta will perform two sets at the festival.

Other entertainment at the festival will include the Hagerstown dance school Ballet and All That Jazz; Hood Hop, a Hagerstown hip-hop dance troupe; Boomtown Hoops, a hoop-dancing troupe; a Zumba fitness demonstration; and Barbara Burgos, a belly dancer who teaches and performs in Hagerstown under the professional name Sitamun.

Ballet & All That Jazz director Ranelle Flurie said her dancers would perform a hip-hop-salsa routine.

"Melissa Santiago is a student teacher who has choreographed this for us," Flurie said. "She knows all the Latin dances -- salsa, merengue -- and we're incorporating American dance with them."

Belly-dancer Burgos said she and her students will perform two sets -- a set to classical Egyptian music called zenia and a set styled after a traditional wedding dance. In both sets, dancers will perform as a group and then individually. Some solo performances will involve props such as scarves, swords and canes.

Burgos said she was surprised to be asked to perform at the Hispanic festival. But she believes there are connections among traditional dances from North Africa and Southern Europe.

"Flamenco dancing and salsa are similar to belly dancing," she said

Reyes said she likes the variety of entertainment planned for the festival.

"It started out being a celebration of our heritage," she said. "A way to raise scholarship money for Hispanics at (Hagerstown Community) College. That's our main purpose. But we had a lot of other people coming -- Haitians, Russians, others. So it's become a time to celebrate with others."

If you go ...

WHAT: Fourth annual Hagerstown Hispanic Festival

WHEN: Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19

WHERE: Fairgrounds Park, 351 N. Cleveland Ave., Hagerstown

COST: Free


MORE: Proceeds help fund scholarships for local Hispanic students at Hagerstown Community College.

Schedule of events

All events take place on Sunday, Sept. 19

Noon -- Festival begins

12:15 -- DJ Niche

12:30 -- Soccer tournament begins

12:45 -- Sitamun, belly dancing

1 -- Boomtown Hoops presentation

1:15 -- Christian singer Linker Sanchez

1:30 -- DJ Niche

1:45 -- Salsaley Orquesta

2:30 -- Welcoming ceremony with Diana Reyes of the Hispanic Association of Hagerstown and local dignitaries

3 -- Ballet and All That Jazz performance

3:15 -- Ceejay, vocalist

3:30 -- Sitamun, belly dancing

3:45 -- K-9 demonstration by Hagerstown City Police

4 -- Zumba demonstration

4:15 -- Michael and Edwin Reyes, reggaeton dance

4:30 -- DJ Niche

4:45 -- Salsaley Orquesta

5:30 -- Soccer tournament winners announced

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