Thursday, August 20, 2009
Proud Latinos in Syracuse? Really??
I look at my collection of blogs I see when I log on and there are a bunch of posts that are in draft mode. It goes to show how busy I have been. So, tonight I had the honor of trying to figure out which "draft"post to complete, but in true Gemini fashion, I realized I am bored with all those subjects for now. Then I realized that there was something that I wanted to write about...
This past weekend was the first time in a very long time that I was able to just chill at a festival and listen to salsa. The city of Syracuse had yet another Latino Americano Festival this summer. Being from New York City, I feel that perhaps it is unfair judge this festival in year's past. But, I have to admit that the festival in year's past has been lack luster to say the least.
It would be 2 days of just all day mess. Sure, they served food from the limited amout of Latino owned restaurants, but the entertainment would be lacking. Don't get me wrong, there would be live entertainment via the stage. The acts were middle level at best. So for the most part we would stand around looking at the vendors who came up from New York City to make the extra money. The number of booths would just not be enough to hold any attention. But, surprisingly enough, the Latinos up here thought that this was dope. I guess you take what you can get from a city that considers us practically invisible.
However, this past Saturday, I was so pleasantly surprised by this festival. For starters, they made a 2 day festival and turned it into one big day. This made the crowd larger than normal. Now, if you have ever been to the 116th street festival then you know that large crowds make for a great time. While the crowd was not that large, to see people dancing to the various Latino music was great too see.
There were a lot of food vendors. Many more than I recall from previous years. Let me tell you, wack or not, I make sure I eat at these festivals. The vendors from NYC were out in full force, even selling La Mega CDs (which was a first). The weather perfect and I could not help but notice the large amount of Afro-Latinos in the crowd, which always makes me smile. Let me also not forget the serious games dominoes that occured.
So what could make this night better? How about a live performance from Frankie Negron? This was the only reason I came to this festival. The rest was cake. I love good salsa music live! The atmosphere was completely electric. People dancing in the streets and everything! Frankie, of course was off the hook. He did his thing. The best part was being able to be backstage and see the show close up. Josie is the Vice President of the Spanish Action League (La Liga) and was able to make sure that a bunch of us got a better view. Thus the picture above.
I will say that this is the first time the city of Syracuse made me really proud to be Latino.I hope they can do it again during Latino Heritage Month...