BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Prior to the Parade of Latino Nations, the party started at Patterson Park with food, music and fun for the third annual Latino Cultural Festival.

The Hernandez family spent the day celebrating their Puerto Rican heritage.

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“Just have a good time, listen to our music, eat our food,” said Jarnira Hernandez.

Fiesta Baltimore was the perfect place to do just that. Now in its third year, it celebrates all Latin cultures.

“I’m representing my country, I’m from Colombia, South America, so I invite everyone to come and have fun. There is delicious food over here and the people are waiting for you,” said one attendee.

Also waiting, dozens of vendors–this one displaying awesome artwork created using shells, seeds even corn.

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“So she’s very happy to be here and she’s hoping she get recognized more and sells more,” said Yenifer Montes.

Organizers with Nuestras Raices Inc., expect upwards of 10,000 visitors.

“Everybody who is Latino, and everybody who wants to be Latino and everybody who thinks about being Latino is going to be here,” said Angelo Solera, founder and executive director of Nuestras Raices Inc.

Solera, who immigrated to this country 40 years ago, said it’s important to provide these types of events to allow people the opportunity to celebrate their heritage.

“Maintaining your culture is important because that’s who you are. Your language, your culture, your history, your family values, all those things, and if you lose that then what do you have?” said Solera.

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Unfortunately this year’s festival is already in the books, but plans are already underway for year four.

Sean Streicher