Abby Teasley grew up in Mexico, and moved to the United States in 1999.
Saturday, she got a taste of her homeland as Grand Haven hosted the inaugural Hispanic Heritage Fiesta at Central Park.
“This is amazing,” said Teasley, who lives in Grand Haven. “I love to see the community come together and celebrate the Spanish culture. I come from Mexico – I came here in 1999. In 20 years, from 1999 to now, this is amazing.”
Teasley served as a volunteer Saturday, helping in the kids’ zone while her kids wandered around, enjoying the festivities.
“They loved it,” Teasley said. “All the food trucks … all the tents, people selling things, the music and dancing.”
Teasley said she hopes the festival helps bring people of different ethnic backgrounds together.
“With all the politics and everything, I hope it brings people together and let them see that we’re all one,” she said.
The festival was the brainchild of Rev. Jared Cramer of St. John’s Episcopal Church.
“I had a conversation with my children and youth director, Reyna Masko, about how we should have a block party to celebrate Hispanic culture and the Hispanic community that is part of Grand Haven,” Cramer said. “We decided to give it a shot, decided we could put this party together and here we are.
“We had no idea what to hope for, but so far I’m very pleased. We have a great amount of food and mercado vendors, a lot of diversity there. The kids zone is very busy full of kids having a good time, and the people are enjoying the music and the dancing. It’s wonderful.”
Saturday’s fiesta featured mercado, a variety of vendors and organizations selling items; a kids’ zone featuring face painting, a Latina princess and a bounce house; a variety of Hispanic and Latinx culture inspired entertainment performances; food booths and food trucks; and a cantina tent serving beer and margaritas.
The inaugural event served as a fundraiser for the Migrant Resource Council. Anyone who would like to make a donation can visit https://tinyurl.com/GHFiesta.