Festival Latino has had an impact on the Latino community in Columbus beyond just the food and music it offers each year.
Omar D’Angelo, a vendor at the festival for the past 10 years, is a testament to that. He became a vendor at the festival without a food truck or restaurant. He started with pop-up tents before he got a food truck in 2016. Originally from Mendoza, Argentina, D'Angelo moved to Columbus in 2000 and years later, fell in love with the festival and how the community comes together to celebrate Latino culture.
Now, D'Angelo has a restaurant, Barroluco Argentine Comfort Food at 47 N. Pearl St. He credits the festival for helping him establish a career.
"I say that I am a product of the Latino festival. It was the first exposure to the Columbus community," said D'Angelo, who will be back at Festival Latino this weekend.
The festival will be held at Genoa Park on Saturday and Sunday . Admission is free and there will be 20 food vendors and 12 merchandise vendors, festival organizer Rich Corsi said.
There's music, headlined by world-renowned artist Milly Quezada, a kids' area and much more, but more than anything, Festival Latino acts as a reunion of sorts for many in the community.
"Our friends become family and then you are working, and it's like, 'Hey, Omar. Hey, Omar," D'Angelo said.
When and where is Festival Latino?
The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Genoa Park, 303 W. Broad St.
What artists are on the musical lineup?
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic put a hold on festivals around the world, Corsi was trying to get Milly Quezada on the festival lineup.
Confirming artists can be difficult for Festival Latino, Corsi said, because the artists often need visas to be in the country and likely have to be in the U.S. already at that time.
This year, they got it to work out.
On both days at 11 a.m., Columbus-based DJ Cale will cater to Caribbean and Latin American tastes, spinning salsa, merengue, bachata, reggaeton, Latin pop dance, house, and a touch of American Top 40 music.
Food vendors at Festival Latino
There will be 20 vendors at the festival, including Giant Lemonade Cup, Laguna Mexican, Komodo Loco, Si Senor Taco Mexico and Tortilla. For a complete list, visit https://www.festivallatino.net/plan-your-visit/food-vendors/
Is there admission to the festival?
No, admission is free.
Where can I park?
Paid parking is available at COSI Columbus, 333 W. Broad St., the Columbus Commons garage, 55 E. Rich St., and various area surface lots. Bicycle racks will be located at each festival entrance.
What can't be taken to Festival Latino?
• Weapons of any kind
• Glass containers
For a complete list, visit https://www.festivallatino.net/plan-your-visit/
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Festival Latino in Columbus: Admission, parking, other things to know