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Hispanic Festival founded in 1983 returns to Lancaster

This year marked the festival's 39th anniversary. Organizers say the celebration has been steadily growing over the years.

LANCASTER, Pa. — A church in Lancaster hosted their annual four-day festival celebrating Latin and Hispanic heritage this week.

San Juan Bautista Church has put on the Hispanic Festival for the last 39 years. It is their biggest fundraiser.

"A feast? Did you say a party? We're all in. We're all in," Father Luis R. Rodriguez, pastor of San Juan Bautista Catholic Church, said. 

The celebration honored Latin and Hispanic culture with food, live music, dancing and entertainment. Attendees could enjoy traditional cuisine from Colombia and Mexico, among other Latin countries.

Free admission gave community members the chance to enjoy music from bands both local and nationally known.

The festival is a party for the community. It gives the church officials, congregation and attendees from far and wide a chance to socialize, enjoy each other's company and celebrate their culture.

"One of the things that always stood out to me the most when people come here is when they stand around and say 'Oh, man, I haven't seen you in a while,'" Deacon Armando Torres said.

The festival was put together by the community. All were welcome to join, from local members of the congregation to those simply visiting the area.

"There are people who have traveled from all the way to Allentown, Reading, Philadelphia," Father Rodriguez said. "They're all here because they know that this is a good time."

Proceeds from the celebration will go towards supporting operations and programs that assist families and individuals in the community.

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