UNION, NJ — The township of Union is hosting its seventh annual Hispanic Heritage Month celebration on Friday, Sept. 16, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., at Biertuempfel Park, 1300 Winslow Ave., Union.
“This is an annual event, so every year, we start planning it after the last one occurs,” said William Reyes Jr., Union’s assistant township administrator, in an interview with Union County LocalSource on Tuesday, Sept. 13. “We spend lots of time on it. We start planning early. What we try to do is, we try to get a lot of food from different Hispanic countries: Columbian, Argentinian, Peruvian, Mexican.”
Hispanic-owned businesses participating include Dee’s Cookies, Krissy’s Kakes and the Ace of Hearts. Food vendors will also include El Lechon de Negron, Latin Bites, Empanada Lady, the Mexi-Boys, the Box Food Truch & Catering, El Torito Andante and the Lomo Truck.
“We try to set the atmosphere for the event,” continued Reyes. “There are so many Spanish-speaking countries that we try to get a lot of different bands, too. We have a mariachi band playing. We have Armando Son Jimenez and his orchestra. We have an Afro-Brazilian workshop. They put together a song and dance presentation from Brazil, based on African roots. It’s a really neat program. There’s a lot of dancing and singing and drums. And then we have a Latin jazz band.”
The scheduled live entertainment is as follows:
• 6 p.m.: SonMilanes.
• 6:45 p.m.: remarks and awards ceremony.
• 8:35 p.m.: Armando Son Jimenez and his orchestra.
“Then we have the Hispanic of the Year award,” said Reyes.
“Usually, that’s a business owner or someone who’s a standout from the community. This year, we’re giving it to the person who opened up Mambo (Cuban Restaurant & Lounge) on Route 22. We’ve got salsa dancing lessons as well. We also put out some fun things for the kids as well: some goal nets for soccer, some foosball, some cornhole.”
“One of the best things about the township of Union is its diversity,” said Mayor Manny Figueiredo in a press release. “As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage month, we recognize all the accomplishments and contributions by Hispanics, not only in Union but throughout the world. I encourage everyone to visit a museum, restaurant, theater or festival celebrating the rich and vibrant Hispanic culture. In Union, our annual Hispanic Heritage Festival continues to grow and features the best local Hispanic food, music, and entertainment in the area. ¡Que viva la herencia Hispana!”
No rain date information has been provided. The free event is outdoors; no registration is required.