Hundreds of Hispanic residents spent Saturday celebrating Gaston County’s diversity at the “Siete de Mayo” event on May 7 at Eastridge Mall in Gastonia.
Gastonia Police helped organize the event with other businesses, using the Cinco de Mayo holiday as a catalyst.
Live music and Zumba singing and dancing were among the many forms of entertainment available during the free event.
The information kiosks were set up by local bilingual businesses with the desire to connect with members of the community, to inform them of the resources available to them.
“I try to attend a lot of these events to educate my community about my work,” said Claudia Decena, owner of Decena Prosperity Group, an insurance and financial company.
Desina came to the United States in 1995 from Oaxaca, Mexico in search of a better life and now resides in Gastonia.
“We have many different cultures in our society,” Desina said in Spanish. “It’s good for both communities to share each other’s cultures.”
However, a Hispanic celebration is not complete without the traditional dishes that make up the culture.
Several food trucks, most with Mexican food, line up to serve general tacos, Mexican corn, tamales and more.
“It’s only 2 pm and we almost ran out of tortillas with all the tacos we sold,” Ana Saldana, owner of Torres Taqueria, said in Spanish.
Since June, Saldana has been feeding thousands of Dallas residents Mexican food through a food truck, often parked at the intersection of West Trade and South Holland Street, in Dallas, along with his friend Bill Hollenback.
This was the largest event she has ever attended and she says it gave her the opportunity to connect more with county residents.
“I could not ask for more blessings,” he added regarding the progress of his business.
The City of Gastonia has organized many events that meet the needs of the Hispanic community. This is due to the growth of Gaston’s Hispanic population of 12,204, which has grown 64.4% in the last 10 years, according to 2020 Census figures.
Many of these events were led by Gastonia Police Officer Alvaro James or other Hispanic organizations in an effort to continue to encourage the community to get out and connect with city leaders, local businesses and other members of the community. community.
“I have been here for a year. I have been living in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. My friends brought me here and I am enjoying it,” said Vio Peña, a Cramerton resident from Lima, Peru.
“I have never seen many events like this here before and I think we should have more. It’s important to our community,” she added.
Beatriz Guerrero can be reached at 704-869-1828 or on Twitter @BeatrizGue_.