Hispanic Heritage Events Bloom In Philadelphia This Spring & Summer

Philadelphia not only celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month each September but Latino culture every day, all year long with colorful festivals, pulsating music, powerful exhibitions and more. Here’s a look at some of the happenings taking place this spring and summer:

Dancers performing the traditional Puerto Rican dance Bomba y Plena are accompanied by drumming and singing at the Festival de BambulaŽ. Produced by Norris Square Neighborhood Project, the festival celebrates the neighborhoodÕs arts and garden programs, which transform vacant lots into bright and vibrant places. Festivities also include authentic Puerto Rican foods, music, crafts and greening activities and displays.

Dancers performing the traditional Puerto Rican dance Bomba y Plena are accompanied by drumming and singing at the Festival de BambulaŽ. Produced by Norris Square Neighborhood Project, the festival celebrates the neighborhoodÕs arts and garden programs, which transform vacant lots into bright and vibrant places. Festivities also include authentic Puerto Rican foods, music, crafts and greening activities and displays.

Ongoing:

  • For almost two centuries, baseball has transcended cultural differences and united minority communities on their path to understanding American values. Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American, on view at the National Museum of American Jewish History, explores how America’s favorite pastime has helped immigrants from all backgrounds become part of the American experience. The exhibit highlights how famous players—Sandy Koufax, Hank Greenberg, Ichiro Suzuki, Roberto Clemente and Jackie Robinson—broke down cultural barriers for Central and South Americans, Puerto Ricans and others of Hispanic descent; African-Americans; Asian-Americans; and Jewish people. Through October 26. 101 S. Independence Mall East, (215) 923-3811, nmajh.org
El Carnaval de Puebla en Filadelfia transports an authentic Cinco de Mayo celebration to Washington Avenue in Philadelphia. Modeled after the colorful parades and street fairs that mark Mexico’s military victory over invading foreign forces, Philadelphia’s festivities attract thousands of locals and participants from around the U.S. and Mexico. Many of the dancers don ornate costumes and oversized masks that were made in Mexico and represent historic figures and folk dramas.

El Carnaval de Puebla en Filadelfia transports an authentic Cinco de Mayo celebration to Washington Avenue in Philadelphia. Modeled after the colorful parades and street fairs that mark Mexico’s military victory over invading foreign forces, Philadelphia’s festivities attract thousands of locals and participants from around the U.S. and Mexico. Many of the dancers don ornate costumes and oversized masks that were made in Mexico and represent historic figures and folk dramas.

April:

  • Taking place at the Please Touch Museum, the music-filled, dance-filled, fun-filled Día del Niño, or International Day of the Child, event keeps the entire family entertained. Kids can hone their kicking skills during a soccer clinic led by members of the Philadelphia Union, pose for pictures with the Eagles cheerleaders, get in tune with singer Jose Rico, get creative at the crafts table and test their meteorological skills at the Telemundo weather wall. April 5. Fairmount Park, 4231 Avenue of the Republic, (215) 581-3181, pleasetouchmuseum.org
  • Movie buffs will want to mark their calendars for the third annual Filadelfia Latin American Film Festival, the region’s only film festival exclusively showing works by Latino and Latin American filmmakers and media artists. The festival kicks off with the 1943 classic Maria Candelaria and features other selections such as Pelo Malo/Bad Hair by Mariana Rondón and the Philadelphia premier of La Camioneta by Mark Kendall. April 25-27. Various locations. (215) 563-6417, flaff.org
  • The works of artist Joel Garcia, on view in museums throughout Mexico and the U.S., take the spotlight at Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. Traditions Transformed: The Folk Art of Joel Garcia features figures that are both ceremonial and decorative, including imaginative animals called alebrijes and icons of El Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead). April 25-June 8. 1020 South Street, (215) 733-0390, phillymagicgardens.org
  • South Philly serves as a hub of Mexican immigration in the region, especially for those from Puebla, Mexico. Folks dressed in bearded masks, capes, headdresses and other traditional garb stroll along Washington Avenue and its surrounding streets to commemorate the Battle of Puebla for the 8thAnnual Carnaval de Puebla. April 27. (215) 253-3040

Centro de Oro (“center of gold”) is the name for the area around 5th Street and Lehigh Avenue, the center of Philadelphia’s Latino community. The area is home to many Latino-owned restaurants and shops, as well as the site of the community’s major festivals.

Centro de Oro (“center of gold”) is the name for the area around 5th Street and Lehigh Avenue, the center of Philadelphia’s Latino community. The area is home to many Latino-owned restaurants and shops, as well as the site of the community’s major festivals.

May:

  • Those with a craving for south of the border flavors can satisfy their taste buds during Mexican Restaurant Week. For five glorious, food-filled days, fans of Mexican cuisine can feast on special $25 prix-fixe menus featuring traditional cuisine, as well as chefs’ updated takes on old favorites. Guests will leave with a free recipe book featuring recipes (in both English and Spanish) from local Mexican chefs. May 1-5. Various locations. mexicanculturalcenter.org
  • Five receptions, five partner organizations, music, art installations and a free shuttle are all it takes to join in Conociéndote: Brocados (Getting to Know You: Bridging the Audience Divide). Throughout the evening, visitors can hop aboard the complimentary trolley and visit Raíces Culturales Latinomaricanas, A Seed on Diamond Gallery, Congreso de Latinos Unidos, HACE and Taller Puertorriqueño for commissioned works of art, exhibits and other activities celebrating Latino arts and culture. May 9. 2557 N. 5th Street, (215) 426-3311, tallerpr.org

 

The Hispanic Fiesta is held each summer on Philadelphia’s Penn’s Landing’s as part of the PECO Multicultural Series.

The Hispanic Fiesta is held each summer on Philadelphia’s Penn’s Landing’s as part of the PECO Multicultural Series.

June:

  • They are The Rolling Stones of the salsa world, and for the first time ever, El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico will roll onto the Kimmel Center stage to perform their greatest hits. Together for 50 years, the legendary 14-piece salsa orchestra has sold more than 100 million records and has a fan base that spans the globe. June 13. 300 S. Broad Street, (215) 893-1999, kimmelcenter.org
Along with some of the top names in music, hundreds of aspiring salsa dancers dance the day away on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for Party on the Parkway, one of many events taking place during Wawa Welcome America!, Philadelphia’s multi-day Fourth of July celebration.

Along with some of the top names in music, hundreds of aspiring salsa dancers dance the day away on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for Party on the Parkway, one of many events taking place during Wawa Welcome America!, Philadelphia’s multi-day Fourth of July celebration.

July:

  • It’s take two for Conociéndote: Brocados (Getting to Know You: Bridging the Audience Divide), featuring receptions at each of the partner organizations (Raíces Culturales Latinomaricanas, A Seed on Diamond Gallery, Congreso de Latinos Unidos, HACE and Taller Puertorriqueño), along with art, music and other activities. A free shuttle ensures participants don’t miss a minute of the fun. July 11.2557 N. 5th Street, (215) 426-3311, tallerpr.org
  • The Council of Spanish Speaking Organizations, Inc. hosts its annual Hispanic Fiesta, a weekend-long celebration filled with music and dancing at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. The festival attracts 30,000 revelers eager to enjoy authentic food, traditional crafts and salsa, merengue, bachata, samba, cumbia, mariachi and flamenco dancing. July 12-13. Columbus Boulevard & Chestnut Street, (215) 922-2FUN, delawareriverwaterfront.com