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CAPA's Festival Latino Celebrates the Flavors of Latin Culture

Posted: July 15, 2019

Produced by CAPA since 2009 and honored with an Experience Columbus EXPY Award in 2016, Festival Latino is the largest Latin event in Ohio, and marks its 24th year in 2019. This family-friendly, free event celebrates family and community with two days of children’s activities, music, food, fashion, art, and dance from the heart of Latin America. Festival Latino 2019 will be held at Genoa Park on Saturday and Sunday, August 10 and 11, from 11am-8pm daily.

Festival Latino is presented by HONDA. Other Festival Latino sponsors include the City of Columbus, Department of Recreation and Parks; Nationwide; AEP; Abbott; Crush; The Ohio Commission on Minority Health; Ohio Small Business Development Center; OhioHealth; ADAMH; Bath Fitter; Dawson; Edwards/Mooney & Moses; J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLC; Molina Healthcare; Mount Carmel Health System; Nationwide Children's Hospital; The Ohio State University Department of Spanish and Portuguese; The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center; and Telhio Credit Union. Additional support provided by Columbus Public Health and Kroger.


Saturday, August 10

11:00 am – DJ Cale
DJ Cale caters to Caribbean and Latin American tastes, spinning salsa, merengue, bachata, reggaeton, Latin pop, Latin dance, house, and a touch of American Top 40 music.

2:45 pm – Papo Ruiz and the Sweetness of Salsa
Puerto Rico – Salsa
Cleveland-based Papo Ruiz and his salsa orchestra make their Festival debut, bringing the sweet sounds of salsa to the riverfront including his 2017 release “Nunca es Tarde.”

4:15 pm – La Reunion Norteña
Mexico – Norteña
This northern Mexican group from Chihuahua perform corridos, rancheras, polkas, and classic norteño ballads in the traditional style. Recent hits include “Llevate Todo," "En Que Falle," "Amigos Para Que," and "Entonces Juguemos."

6:15 pm – Grupo Manía
Puerto Rico – Merengue
Grammy Award-winning Grupo Manía will perform some of their most popular singles including “Me Miras y Te Miro,” “Linda Eh,” “Ojitos Bellos,” and “Te Ví.”

Sunday, August 11

11:00 am – DJ Cale
DJ Cale caters to Caribbean and Latin American tastes, spinning salsa, merengue, bachata, reggaeton, Latin pop, Latin dance, house, and a touch of American Top 40 music.

4:15 pm – Los Rabanes
Panama – Rock Fusion
Los Rabanes are considered musical pioneers, fusing Caribbean dance rhythms with rock and a variety of other alternative genres including punk, grunge, metal, ska, and house. They are the first band from Central America to win a Latin Grammy in the Best Rock Album category.

6:15 pm – Gilberto Santa Rosa
Puerto Rico – Salsa
Known as "El Caballero de la Salsa" (“The Gentleman of Salsa”), Gilberto Santa Rosa’s musical elegance and style has earned him an ASCAP Latin Heritage Award, six Grammy Awards, and the Guinness World Record for the most No. 1 songs on Billboard’s Tropical chart (12 in total).

Additional main stage attractions include:
Special Festival Host – B. A-Star
Richard Bastar Jr., known as B. A-Star, is a former member of the group Tercera Generacion (or 3G) with his brothers, boasting the fact that they are the third generation of Bastar in the music industry. Now pursuing a solo project, B. A-Star has created a new urban dance sound, releasing more than ten singles since 2011.


12 pm – 6 pm daily, no charge for activities

Children’s area activities will include:

  • Balloon Artist – Clayton Beeney will create fun balloon sculptures for children from 2-4pm daily.
  • COSI – COSI will bring their exciting live shows and engaging family activities outdoors along Washington Boulevard. Festival-goers will have opportunities to play, explore, and learn about science together with COSI’s Science Spots and thrilling demonstrations.
  • Mexican Flowers – Big, beautiful flowers are used in Mexico to decorate on days of celebration. Join the members of the Latin Ladies & Friends Organization as they help children construct these colorful creations.
  • Book Giveaways – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio will be handing out children’s books. Columbus City Schools’ Columbus Spanish Immersion Academy will be handing out Spanish children’s books.
  • Product Sampling – Abbott will be handing out free samples of some of their most popular healthy hydrations for kids and adults.
  • Fluoride Screenings – Nationwide Children’s Hospital will provide free fluoride screenings for kids.

Additional children’s activities will be provided by:

  • Franklin County Children Services
  • Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Council, Inc.


Saturday, August 10

2:00 pm – Salsa Lessons with Carlos Rubio
Take a salsa dance lesson from “The Salsa King of Ohio.” Carlos “El Hiperactivo” Rubio is an instructor at the Salsamante Dance Academy and Ohio’s all-time winning-est salsa dancer.

3:00 pm – Salsamante Dance Academy
Enjoy salsa performances from instructors and students of Columbus’ first and only salsa dance studio.

5:00 pm – El Corazon de Mexico
Toledo-based dance company El Corazon de Mexico Ballet Folklorico (The Heart of Mexico) will demonstrate the beauty and charm of traditional Mexican dances.

Sunday, August 11

1:00 pm – El Corazon de Mexico

2:00 pm – Salsa Lessons with Carlos Rubio

3:00 pm – Salsamante Dance Academy 4:00 pm – El Corazon de Mexico

5:00 pm – Latin Fashion Show
Organized by C+J Ethnic, catch a showcase and celebration of Latin style as local adults and children model a progression of fashion from traditional Latin clothing through the modern designs of today.


Ohio-based Latin artists will display and sell their visual artwork in the Artists’ Showcase area. Featured artists in 2019 will include:

  • Darsy Amaya – jewelry
  • Ciela – handmade handbags and accessories
  • Abraham Cordova – hand-drawn artwork on screen-printed t-shirts and posters
  • Dimafi Designs – handmade jewelry and accessories


Latin writers will display and sell their work in the Authors’ Showcase area. Featured authors in 2019 will include novelist Ani Palacios and children’s author Lorena C. Brown.


Presented by The Ohio Commission on Minority Health, OhioHealth, and ADAMH, the Health & Wellness Area will host a variety of local health and social service organizations offering free health screenings and bilingual information on their services. Participating organizations include:

  • Columbus Public Health
  • Mount Carmel Health System
  • The Ohio Commission on Minority Health
  • OhioHealth
  • The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center


The Community Resources area will offer information about local education and community programs. Participating organizations include:

  • Proyecto Mariposas
  • Homes on the Hill CDC
  • Dress for Success Columbus


Festival Latino will offer a wide variety of cuisine from Latin America and beyond. For a full list of participating vendors, please visit www.FestivalLatino.net.


The Festival Latino marketplace will include jewelry, arts, crafts, and a variety of other traditional items from Latin America. For a full list of participating vendors, please visit www.FestivalLatino.net.

Festival Policy

Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs for lawn seating.

Not permitted in Genoa Park:

  • Unauthorized vehicles on sidewalks or in the parks
  • Commercial activities, including soliciting and/or vending without permission from CAPA
  • Panhandling
  • Camping
  • Cooking grills or open fires
  • Feeding the geese or other wildlife
  • Drones
  • Illegal drug use
  • Illegal weapons
  • Alcohol (except that purchased on site at the event)
  • Glass containers
  • Pets (prohibited for the safety of Festival-goers)
  • Skateboards
  • Large shade structures including tents and umbrellas (both for patio and chair)
  • Staking of any type
  • Coolers
  • Bicycles (to be parked in designated areas)

Rain Policy

Festival Latino is a rain or shine event. There is no rain location.


Paid parking for the public and handicapped is available at COSI (333 W. Broad St.), the Columbus Commons garage (55 E. Rich St.), and nearby surface lots. Bicycle Parking Bicycle racks will be located at each Festival entrance.