ST. LOUIS – The Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival is underway in Soulard. It’s a three-day event celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with dancing, food, crafts and much more.

This marks the 24th year of the festival, which aims to increase regional awareness cultural contributions from Hispanic musicians, dancers, artisans and chefs.

Organizers are hoping to bring together people from different social, economic, and political backgrounds.

“It’s three days filled with live music like salsa, Latin rock, Mexican music and Banda music,” said Elisa Bender, board member of the Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival. “Then authentic foods from all over, Latin and South America, Puerto Rico and Mexico.” 

Over the years, this festival has grown from other locations like Faust Park to its current home in Soulard Park. From food to vendor to musical performances, the three-day event promises something for everyone. 

“To me being that it is Hispanic Heritage Month, it’s a way for me to celebrate my culture,” said vendor Ninfa Madiase. “It’s a way to just put out there what Panama has to offer because most people are like, ‘Panama, the canal.’ We are more than the canal.  We are a bunch of people that are very happy.” 

The children might enjoy the petting zoo as well. If you visit this weekend, keep an eye out for the Hispanic heritage flag, designed here in St. Louis and seen across the state of Missouri. It’s even used by other US states, such as the Carolinas in the East Coast.

Hispanic Heritage Month is recognized from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of the Hispanic community. From tamales to tacos, empanadas and plenty of wonderful baked goods, try something new and expand your palate. 

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. It’s free to the public, and it looks like favorable weather to celebrate.