Hispanic League prepares for 23rd annual Fiesta

Hispanic League prepares for 23rd annual Fiesta
September 24
00:00 2015

photo above: Mari Jo Turner (submitted photo)

Proceeds will go to support scholarships for students

By Tevin Stinson

The Chronicle

On Saturday, Sept. 26, the Hispanic League will hold its annual Fiesta street festival in downtown Winston-Salem.

The festival, which is free to the public, is the biggest fundraiser for the Hispanic League of Winston-Salem.

Mari Jo Turner, executive director of the Hispanic League, is expecting this year’s event to be bigger than ever. Turner said over 25,000 people are expected to attend this year’s festival.

“We’re really excited about this year’s Fiesta,” said Turner. “Fiesta has always been our biggest event. We get a lot of support from the entire community.”

This years multicultural festival will feature Latin music, cultural programs, Latin cuisine, local arts and crafts as well as a children’s area.

For those of legal drinking age, the festival will also have a beer and margarita garden.

“We really do have something for everyone,” Turner said.

“We encourage everyone to come join us. Not only is it fun for the entire family, it’s also for a good cause as well.”

All the funds raised from Fiesta sponsors, vendors and donations support cultural, health education, and college scholarship programs for the Hispanic/Latino community year-round.

Since 2000, the Hispanic League has awarded 286 scholarships to Hispanic/Latino students in Forsyth County.

“We have really grown over the years. This year, we awarded 36 scholarships,” said Turner. “We take pride in the work we do in the local schools. We work with a number of middle schools and high school in the area.”

Recently, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence selected the Hispanic League as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education for Hispanics.

Turner said the Hispanic League is honored to be recognized as one of the Bright Spots in Hispanic Education that has demonstrated a strong commitment to improving the educational attainment of Hispanics.

“It is a reflection of the generous support of our sponsors, volunteers and community,” she said.

The Hispanic League was started in 1992 with a mission to improve the quality of life for Hispanics and Latinos. Over the years, the nonprofit organization has also worked with a number of organizations that work with the African-American community as well,  such as the Winston-Salem Urban League.

Recently the Hispanic League worked with the S.G. Atkins Community Development Corporation during its first Multicultural Bridal Fair and Fashion Show.

“When I first came here, we only had two events,” said Turner. “Over the past few years, we have become more involved in the community, not just with the Hispanic/Latino community but in the African-American community as well.”

Similar to past festivals, the 23rd Annual Fiesta will extend from Fourth Street to Holly Avenue, Winston Square Park and includes Poplar Street, Spruce Street and the Sawtooth Center for Visual Arts.

Here in America, and other countries Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. Turner said the Fiesta is a great opportunity for the community to learn about the Hispanic Heritage.

“With this being Hispanic Heritage Month, Fiesta is a great way to learn about the Hispanic/Latino Heritage.”

For more information on the 23rd Annual Fiesta or on the Hispanic League visit

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