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At the Philadelphia Neighborhood Fair. File image.
At the annual Fería del Barrio in Philadelphia. Photo: AL DÍA News Archives.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month in Philadelphia 

During Hispanic Heritage Month, the city of Philadelphia prepares to commemorate the contributions of the Latino and Hispanic community in the United States.

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Hispanic Heritage Month began a week ago, and the days are dedicated to celebrating the contributions and cultures of Spanish and Latin American origins to the building of the United States. In Philadelphia, Hispanic and Latino population represent nearly 15% of residents, according to the 2020 Census, or about 240,000 people.

The official celebration in the City of Brotherly Love begins with Taller Puertorriqueño's neighborhood-centric Feria del Barrio.

Throughout the month, Hispanic Heritage commemorated with a month of events and programs that put the city's diverse Latino-based cultures and neighborhoods at the center.

It's a month of Independence Day celebrations, the Philadelphia International Unity Cup (showcasing the city's international soccer clubs), plus concerts, comedy and some exhibits featuring works by local artists. Despite some venues having to maintain mask mandates and safe social distancing, or attendees must have proof of vaccination, the celebrations for Hispanic Heritage Month don't stop. 

The previously-mentioned Taller is one of the epicenters of Latino culture in Philadelphia, and this year, it is hosting an exhibit by its former director, Johnny Irizarry, a multimedia artist who will present photos, paintings, collages and sculptures that address violence, folktales and the impact of humans on nature.

For its fourth year, the International Unity Cup is a showcase for the soccer skills of Philadelphia's immigrant communities. During the three-week tournament, teams representing Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela will compete for first place.

Although for the second year in a row the city had to cancel the Puerto Rican Day Parade, Concilio's Fiesta Hispana has managed to stay on its feet, celebrating with a family-friendly pregame. An outdoor market along the Delaware River features dozens of vendors selling everything from food to tchotchkes to clothing, with live music.

On Sunday, Sept. 26, El Coqui Festival will be held from 2-7 p.m., an unofficial celebration of the Puerto Rican Day Parade featuring bands Grupo Mania and TKA. The party is free admission. In addition, on Friday, Oct. 1, the Latin Dance Practice party will be held. A night with one-hour bachata and salsa lessons for beginners by instructor Laurel Card. 

As you can't miss the food, to close the month you can go to the "Dine Latino" restaurant week, Oct. 11-15.  The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will bring together 19 Latino restaurants for this biannual celebration. Between tostones, arepas, tacos, pastelitos and empanadas, you'll find street food restaurants like El Merkury and empanada specialist Jezabel's Cafe to seafood restaurant Alma Del Mar and taqueria Bar Bombon by Marquis and Co.

And last but not least, be sure to get tickets for AL DÍA's very own annual Hispanic Heritage Awards Gala. This year, AL DÍA is throwing its biggest celebration to date, honoring 10 archetypes of Hispanic Heritage across Public Service, Sports, Nonprofit, Philanthropy, Corporate America, Media, Medicine, Performing Arts, Education, and Entrepreneurship.

How do you plan to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?

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