Hola Festival Set for Sept. 26-27

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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News item

Hola Festival Set for Sept. 26-27

Posted: 09/22/2015
Hola FestEnjoy the 2015 HoLa Festival on Saturday evening, Sept. 26 and Sunday afternoon, Sept. 27 at Market Square in Downtown Knoxville.

The HoLa Festival is a celebration of Hispanic culture and features Hispanic music, dance, food, and other cultural entertainment. The event is open to the public without charge, and parking in the adjacent City parking lots will be free.

The Hispanic salsa band “Jimmy Bonilla” will be the featured performer at the Saturday evening “kick-off” event along with a performance by vocalist and emcee Edfred Catu.  “Salsa Knox” will be a featured dance group Sunday afternoon performing an exhibition of authentic salsa as well as offering salsa lessons.  Another very unique dance ensemble, “Ballet Folklorico Mexican Tradition of Julio Ruiz” from North Carolina will present a program of authentic and very colorful Mexican cultural music and dances.  

Knoxville’s own “Sangría Dance by Olga” will present the best in flamenco dance with ethnic influences and Pasión Flamenca dance group will present the rich tradition of Spanish dance, music and culture.  

The featured Latin band on Saturday will be the “Marcel Portilla Band,” led by Marcel Portilla, a highly regarded South American singer and songwriter from Cali, Columbia.  His goal is to use his music to spread a message of diversity, love, and peace.  His performance at the HoLa Festival will include a fusion of New Latin, tropical, pop, rock blues, and reggae and a way that Knoxville audiences have never heard. 

New this year -  the tradition Festival of Nation Parade featuring the dress and flags of many Hispanic countries, will process down Gay Street Sunday afternoon.  Also, the Festival will include a significant number of food and craft vendors, community tables, and activities for the children.  The emphasis on Sunday will be on family education and entertainment so special efforts are being made to expand the children’s area and the cultural displays.  

The Hispanic population of Knox County has increased rapidly over the past few years. As of 2013, Hispanics total 3.7% of the total population and estimated to be much greater now.  While celebrating Hispanic culture is a prime focus of the event, it is a very special and important opportunity for all people of East Tennessee to get a better understanding and appreciation of the culture of local Hispanic people.