Savannah celebrated its Hispanic population on Saturday, Sept. 28, at the Hispanic Heritage Festival downtown.

The festival captured the essence of what it means to be Hispanic, from the vibrant colors to the proud Latinx community there to celebrate. The event was part of a nationwide Hispanic Heritage Month that takes place Sept. 15- Oct. 15.

Krystal Francais was among those who attended.

“It warmed my heart to be amongst others who are just like me,” she said. “Being Afro-Latina, we often are never recognized or celebrated in the Hispanic culture; however, this weekend seeing other dark-skinned Panamanians surrounding made me smile and gave me a sense of belonging.”

Latin music roared as those in attendance performed cultural dances. At one point, announcer saw a few people in the crowd struggling to catch on to the salsa dance and told everyone to find a partner and show them how to do it, encouraging a camaraderie displayed at the entire event- those who didn’t come from a Hispanic lineage felt as if they were part of the event.

Several food trucks sold variations of Hispanic foods downtown, including the popular street corn, “elote,” which is corn on the cob with mayonnaise, cotija cheese, chili powder and lime.

Other vendors were selling flags to Hispanic countries for people to display proudly.

“My favorite park was definitely the dancing,” José Robles said. “Being able to participate in a lot of the cultural dances that originated from my culture was fun and something I don’t do often.”

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