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From One Country to Another: Tarpon Springs Hispanic Heritage Festival

SPC Programs & Events

By Olivia Pikul

 Being that October is Hispanic Heritage Month, the Tarpon Springs campus of St. Pete College put on an event where students can take a journey into Hispanic culture. All students could come and enjoy the festivities of the Fiesta Grande, Hispanic or not. The quad area was decorated with colorful decorations, had a DJ playing music, and a buffet of classic Hispanic cuisine.  

Decorated with banners, balloons, and flags, the quad area was vibrant and spirited. Long lines filled the sidewalks to have a look and taste of the food that was being served. The brightness of the colors such as red, yellow, green, blue, white, purple, and gold in the area drew attention to what was going on at the festival scene. Along with all the colors were many strings of triangle banners accompanied with balloons that provided an element of fun and made everyone feel as if it was a true Hispanic fiesta.

The tables and chairs were set up for the students to enjoy the food in the quad area. The tables were large with many seats although it was not long before all the seats were taken. Students wanted to stay at the fiesta longer than allowed because of the atmosphere.  

While more students began to join the line to receive food, the DJ was working hard on the most important part of the fiesta, the music. When the event first started, he was playing types of music on the radio or top charts, like pop music. As the event progressed, he transitioned into classic types of Hispanic music with the unique sounding instruments and beats that make people want to dance. In doing so, some members of the International Club started to dance. Another member of the club said over the microphone, “It’s not a fiesta without some dancing!” 

 After the members took a break to dance, one of the advisors of the club, Angela Cole, took the microphone and thanked everyone for coming and celebrating. Cole also mentioned that the club would welcome new members and addressed the fact that a student wanting to join does not need to be Hispanic and the club is open to all who are interested.  

As students waited in line for the food a woman came around the line and handed out pens that had a maraca on the tip. The maracas were various in color and sound which created a pleasant melody when multiple people shook it at once.  

When in line to obtain the food, the students were presented with options of Spanish rice, pork carnitas, and pollo asado. Most students took all three of the options. Working down the buffet, was coconut flan and tres leches, meaning “three milks”, to choose from. At the end of the line, students had a choice of mango or passion fruit juice, making the flavors of the meal very savory. Overall, the Fiesta Grande succeeded in showing the Hispanic culture by the music, decorations, food, and dancing while many students attended the event with smiles on their faces.

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