Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Clarksville hosts second Hispanic festival

The Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle reports in this story that the city's second Hispanic Festival drew thousands:

"More than 300 people attended the noon worship service with a total of 4,000 to 5,000 people expected to participate in the colorful extravaganza Saturday that extended well into the autumn evening."

"Mariachi dancers of all ages, dressed in colorful native costumes, and talented musicians thrilled the enthusiastic, yet relaxed crowd."

"Angel D. Natal, an officer with Bruno Natal Milinas — a growing local organization seeking to bring all of Clarksville's Hispanic cultures together, said the hard work must continue."

"BNM, a nonprofit organization, produced and sponsored the Hispanic Festival."

Natal said that the Clarksville Hispanic community is trying to unite for political strength as well, citing the upcoming 2006 elections, according to the Leaf-Chronicle.

"There are 12,000 registered Hispanic voters in Clarksville, and that number could exceed 18,000 by next year's election cycle, he said."

Among the supporters were members of the Clarksville Police Department.

"'We just can't say how often the Clarksville Police Department has helped us,' Natal said."

"Dressed in his dignified, well-pressed CPD Honor Guard uniform, Detective Eric Green Jr., a native of Panama, strolled among the food and craft vendors at the Wilma Rudolph Pavilion."

"'This festival is quite authentic. I feel like I'm back home,' Green said."

"Clarksville Police Officer Raymond Colon, a native of Haiti, was on duty for the event."

"'There have been no problems at all, and I don't expect any. This is a fun, important day,' Colon said."

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