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Big Latino Festival Returns

Bands will come from all over to perform.

One of the biggest Latino festivals in the region will return to the Arlandria neighborhood on Sunday, June 11.

"My God, it’s crazy," said Suyapa Hernandez, office manager for Tenants and Workers United, of the annual Arlandria-Chirilagua Festival. "It’s a lot of people."

When the festival got started in 2000 it attracted about 10,000 people, Hernandez said. Last year about 30,000 people turned up, Riveros said.

The free festival celebrates Latino culture but welcomes everyone, Riveros said.

"This event is just getting bigger, bigger and bigger," agreed Elsa Riveros, coordinator of the Arlandria-Chirilagua Festival for Tenants and Workers United.

Crooked Stilo will be among the bands to perform. It is traveling all the way from Los Angeles to perform. "It’s a way to connect with our people," said Victor Lopez, one of the group’s singers. "A lot of our people don’t know we are Salvadoran."

Lopez said he also was performing in the festival because it would be fun and would be a way to expose people to his group’s music.

Crooked Stilo plays a mix of hip-hop and Latino music, Lopez said.

The other groups that will perform are: La Sonora Dinamita (Colombia), Mariachi las Americas (Mexico), Mr. Pelon 503 (El Salvador), Javier Julian y la Revelacion de la Bachata (Dominican Republic), La Furia Band (El Salvador), Sin Contro y Su Rock (Honduras), Luis Josel y Su Bachata, El Reggaeton de Grandes Ligas (El Salvador).

ALONG WITH the musical performers, there will be many food stalls selling Central American food and Mexican and South American food, Riveros said. There will be vendors selling Ecuadorian and Peruvian crafts, clothing and embroidery.

Some local nonprofits will have booths. Representatives of some Latin American embassies and some politicians will attend and speak from the stage, Riveros said.

Tenants and Workers United organizes the festival as a fund-raiser for its activities. The group works for social and economic change for low-income people. It makes money from the festival by charging for the booths, Riveros said.

The festival will run from noon to 6 p.m. rain or shine from 3805 Mt. Vernon Avenue to Russell Road. It will also be held in the parking lot of an adjacent shopping center.

For more information, call Riveros at 703- 684-5697, ext. 305.