I personally: Celebrate your pride this weekend in the Burgs.
The Pocono Latin Fest — now in its eighth year — returns from noon to 7 pm Sunday with the tropical sounds of reggaetón, merengue and salsa, plus diverse eats and plenty of cultural pride.
The festival was founded in 2014 by Edwin and Karen Prudencio, who wanted to showcase the diversity of the Poconos.
The couple will emcee the event, along with media personalities, Christina Luna (Cafe with Christina, Pocono Mountains Visitor Bureau) and sets by DJ Jay Lima.
Over the years, the celebration has grown in size, evidence of the area’s growing Hispanic and Latino community.
The Hispanic or Latino population in Monroe County grew 28.1%, from 22,288 at the 2020 census to 28,558.
The census reported population increased in all of the county’s boroughs and townships, with the most significant growth happening in East Stroudsburg. An 84.8% increase brought the population from 1,166 to 2,155.
This year’s gathering, which takes place during National Hispanic Heritage Month, was formerly housed in spaces such as The Mountain Center in Tobyhanna and at StroudFest in Downtown Stroudsburg.
It is now taking place for the second time on the former rugby field at East Stroudsburg University located at 220 Prospect Street.
The line up at Pocono Latin Fest
The festival kicks off with a mix of merengue, reggaetón and salsa tunes by Lima at noon, followed by a performance by guitarist and singer, Roy Ramos at 1 pm, Sylvestry at 1:30 pm, Ballet Mex at 2:15 pm, Nuni at 3:30 pm; and a Zumba class with Yolanda Cruz at 4 pm
This year’s headliners include Puerto Rican R&B singer Iisma, who takes the stage at 3 pm and Dominican group Banda Solida performing at 4:30 pm and 5:15 pm
Food vendors will be selling flavorful Latin eats such as pastelitos (sweet pastries and turnovers), alcapurrias (meat patties made with plantains), pernil (roast pork) arroz con gandules (yellow rice and peas), tacos, elotes locos (spicy roasted corn ), pupusas (stuffed corn patties) and algodon de azúcar (cotton candy).
Craft vendors will be selling clothing, blankets, flags, jewelry and household goods.
There will also be family-friendly activities for kids and other fun crafts and games.
If you go: The event is free. Learn more at facebook.com/poconolatinfest