For police officer Ray Croze events like the Hispanic Heritage Festival help make his job easier.
He runs the Hispanic Outreach Center in Clearwater, where about 20 percent of the more than 105,000 residents are of Hispanic origin.
The center offers family and mental health counseling, family outreach and direction for legal help. Creating a welcoming environment helps achieve the center's goal to bridge the gap with the increasing Spanish speaking population, Croze said.
Getting musicians representing different styles of Hispanic music to perform as part of Maxima 92.5-FM's Hispanic Heritage Festival this Sunday at Coachman Park doesn’t hurt either.
“I think it shows the city’s support to have this kind of event in Clearwater and continued support for our Hispanic community,” Croze said.
There is food. There are games. And locals get the chance to experience different styles of Hispanic music and dance.
Reggaeton from Alexis y Fido and headliner Yandel. Salsa performances by Grupo Niche from Colombia and merengue dance by Grupo Mania from Puerto Rico. Latin pop star Johnny Sky also will take the stage.
And yes, anyone is welcome to go. “It’s not just for the Hispanic community,” Croze commented. “I think what's so good about it, it brings out their culture more.”
If you go:
What: Maxima Hispanic Heritage Festival
When: Starts at 12:30 p.m. Sun., Oct. 12.
Where: Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater
Tickets: $15 in advance; $20 at the gate.
Alexis y Fido: 12:30 - 1:30 p.m
Maxima DJs: 1:45 - 2 p.m.
Johnny Sky: 2:15 - 2:40 p.m.
Fuego: 3:15 - 3:40 p.m.
Maxima DJs: 3:55 - 4:15 p.m.
Grupo Mania: 4:25 - 5:25 p.m.
Grupo Niche: 5:55 - 7:10 p.m.
Yandel: 7:40 - 8:55 p.m.