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CANCELED: Savannah celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month with two big events

  • Fiesta Latina (Photo by Adriana Iris Boatwright)
  • Fiesta Latina (Photo by Adriana Iris Boatwright)
  • Fiesta Latina (Photo by Adriana Iris Boatwright)
  • Fiesta Latina (Photo by Adriana Iris Boatwright)

CANCELED: Savannah celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month with two big events

12 Sep 2017

Note: The Sept. 16 Hispanic Heritage Parade and Sabor Latino Festival has been canceled due to the impacts of Hurricane Irma. Fiesta Latina is still scheduled to go on as planned.

Sept. 15 through Oct. 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, a time when Latin American and Hispanic culture is recognized and celebrated for its contributions.

Inuagural event

This year the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the city of Savannah are adding a parade to the mix of celebrations. The first Hispanic Heritage Parade and Sabor Latino Festival will be Sept. 16.

“The parade will take place along the tree-lined streets of Oglethorpe, Price and Liberty streets in downtown Savannah,” said parade coordinator Iris Sarria. “We hope that it will empower the community and our youth by promoting civic pride and celebrating the history of Hispanic culture.”

The parade consists of more than 40 entries that are reflective of several different cultures and countries.

“At the moment, we have floats from Peru, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Panama, Mexico and Ecuador,” she said. “Each one will have its own style and flair. I am excited to see what each country comes up with when it comes to the design and creation of the floats.

“Two local school bands, First Hispanic Baptist Church of Savannah and even Sheriff John T. Wilcher will be taking part of the first-ever parade and it is definitely shaping up to be a great event.”

But the party doesn’t end after the parade. The fun continues from noon-8 p.m. at the Savannah Civic Center with folkloric dances, food, artisans and music.

“By continuing the celebration at the Savannah Civic Center following the parade, the event will provide an avenue for businesses and corporations wanting to do business with the growing Hispanic community of metropolitan Savannah,” Sarria said. “This is a chance to showcase products and services and increase image recognition to the thousands that will gather for the event.”

An old favorite

The second major Latin festival in Savannah is Fiesta Latina, which celebrates its 12th anniversary Sept. 30 at River Street’s Rousakis Plaza.

Gustavo Gonzalez, vice president of Savannah’s Latin American Services Organization, said the 2017 event will top years past.

“We have so many surprises for this year’s event and I honestly don’t want to let the cat out of the bag, but what I can tell you is that it is going to one of the greatest parties we have held thus far,” he said.

LASO is the only Savannah nonprofit that is Latino-focused, and each year they take on the task of not only celebrating Latin culture, but also educating the public.

Twenty countries will be represented at Rousakis Plaza. The display of flags, the sounds of music, the colors and cuisine will assault all your senses.

“You can’t help it, but you will dance. Each year tourists that are walking by the shops and enjoying the restaurants, unbeknown to them, they come across our festival and they are surprised that so much is happening in our area,” Gonzalez said. “They join in the makeshift dance floor that the river walk turns into. To see so many faces smile and dance while celebrating Latino culture, which is one of our goals, fills me with pride.”


What: Inaugural Hispanic Heritage Parade and Sabor Latino Festival

When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 16

Where: Parade route along Oglethorpe, Price and Liberty streets, followed by festival at Savannah Civic Center, 301 W. Oglethorpe Ave.

Cost: Free


What: 12th annual Fiesta Latina

When: Noon-8 p.m. Sept. 30

Where: Rousakis Plaza, River Street

Cost: Free

Info: 912-428-6831,