Crowd soaks in Festiva Latina: Hundreds attend cultural event

The Republic:

Brian Blair, 9/15/2018

Well before a six-piece mariachi band could launch its first spirited number Friday evening in downtown Columbus, an expanded Festiva Latina already looked to be a success.

An estimated 500 people already began crowding Fourth Street just 45 minutes into the free, cultural bridge-building event, even as local and other officials issued a welcome in English and Spanish.

Fittingly, the weather seemed south of the border — sunny and hot with temperatures in the low 80s — enough for local Latino women to cool themselves with floral Spanish folding fans.

Thomas and Olga Alaplic ate quesadillas near the corner of Fourth and Washington streets and watched the crowd grow.

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