Spanish rhythms, folkloric dancing and the delicious aroma of arroz con pollo will fill Ybor City on Saturday during Festival del Sabor.
The eighth annual family-oriented celebration of Hispanic culture, food, music and the arts, also will kick off Hispanic Heritage Month in Tampa. And it also marks Centro Tampa’s eighth anniversary as the leading Spanish-language newspaper in the area.
“In Spanish there’s a common proverb that says: ‘love comes in through the kitchen’ and that’s why Festival del Sabor celebrates not only our traditions, our foods and our music but also the love we have for our native countries,” said Orlando Nieves, general manager of Centro, a Tampa Media Group-owned Spanish language newspaper in Tampa. Tampa Media Group also owns The Tampa Tribune and TBO.com.
“This is the perfect way to kick off Hispanic Heritage month in Tampa Bay, with lots of love, good food and free entertainment,” Nieves said.
The annual festival, which draws thousands of visitors to the historic district, will include live entertainment from La Orquesta Infinidad, a Tampa-based Latin jazz band that plays salsa, merengue, mambo and cumbia, and Colombian-born singer Kike Barrios, who will entertain the crowd with his unique blend of Latin pop, fusion and Latin rock sounds.
Festival del Sabor also includes a chicken and yellow rice contest — best tasting and most creative categories — with the winning chef taking home a $500 cash prize; $250 for second place.
A variety of vendors will be selling sell an array of products including food, art, jewelry, home goods, cigars, music and more.
The Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) will sponsor a children’s area with face-painting and games.
To help kick-off the 34th anniversary of the Hispanic Heritage celebrations, Sabor and Tampa Hispanic Heritage Inc. will hold a “Cultural Ambassador” contest, where Hispanic women showcase their country’s traditional dance and share cultural traditions for the chance to win scholarship money and represent this year’s Hispanic Heritage celebrations. The first place winner will receive $700; second place, $500 and third place, $300.