Roanoke Latino Festival aims to share culture of Hispanic and Latino community

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) It is Hispanic Heritage Month and that means it's time for the Roanoke Latino Festival.

For more than a decade, huge crowds of people have gathered at Elmwood Park to celebrate Hispanic heritage at the Roanoke Latino Festival with music, food, dancing, and more.

"It's always been the opportunity that we the Latino community have to celebrate our heritage," said Organizer Carolina Smales.

Carolina Smales is the art and culture director for non-profit group Hacienda, who organizes the event each year.

She says they want to not only celebrate their culture but also share it.

"We are really trying to engage people to come to the Latino festival, not only the Latino community but we want all communities to come and get to know our culture, our traditions."

Smales hopes the people at this year's event will learn a little about all of the countries and cultures that make up Latin America.

"We want to educate, we want to share traditions, we want to engage, we welcome all people in the community, Latino or not Latino, to come here and get to know us because sometimes we fear what we don't know. So come get to know us!"

Red Cross will also have a booth set up to collect donations for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, earthquakes in Mexico and hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

The festival is this Sunday in Elmwood Park in Roanoke from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission is free.