SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Nebraska (KCAU)– What better way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month than getting together with your community for a fiesta?
This year marked the 3rd annual Celebrando Siouxland, bringing in folks from not only the tri-state area but from around the country.
“When it started we had I always make the joke it was just a few people, a food truck, and a DJ,” said Rogelio Rodriguez, community organizer with Unity in Action.
From live mariachi to traditional foods, the event is a celebration of Hispanic culture.
Rogelio Rodriguez, the community organizer with Unity in Action said this event provides an outlet for folks to showcase their work.
“We’re seeing a lot of local business out here just enjoying the time and just making a presence and making some money out of it. Because some of these smaller businesses don’t really get invited to some of these other festivals, and so this is the place for our local entrepreneurs to really kinda show what they have to offer,” said Rodriguez.
And the event only seems to keep growing.
“Last year we kinda had a little bit bigger ambition to make it a little bit bigger, so we rented out the complex here. We counted just about 5,000 folks that showed up, this year we’re already expecting 5,000 plus,” said Rodriguez.
Before Celebrando Siouxland, South Sioux City had Tony Gomez’s Fiestas Patrias at his home. Following his retirement, Unity in Action decided to take up the mantle and expand the celebration to match Sioux City’s Latino population. According to the National Census Bureau, Hispanic people make up roughly 20% of the metro’s total population more than the portion Latinos make up of the populations for South Dakota, Nebraska, And Iowa.
“We want to create a sense of belonging for Latinos in general. We do know our community is growing we know we’re the 2nd largest demographic that is growing nationwide. And so it is important for us to celebrate our culture and history, and it’s also a way to teach the younger folks,” said Olga Guevara, the executive director of Unity in Action.