PALESTINE — The Palestine Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with UNIDOS, Ben E Keith Co. and All-Star Ford Palestine hosted Palestine’s first Latin Heritage Music Festival on Saturday in Old Town Palestine.

The festival was held to celebrate the rich culture of the Hispanic people in a family friendly environment. Activities included authentic Mexican cuisine, live music, a variety of vendors, free bounce houses, face painting and entertainment for the whole family with performances by Mariachi Lara, Selena Tribute Band, SIMA Ballet Folklorico and Latin Express Band.

Palestine Police Department volunteers were also on hand to distribute information in Spanish in an effort to increase the quality of life and help build trust in the police department. Palestine Police Chief Andy Harvey said of the event, “We are excited to bring this wonderful venue for the entire community to enjoy. The more we learn and appreciate each other, the better and safer we will be. We hope you will come and help us build relationships and have some fun while you’re doing it.”

Hispanic Heritage Month, which starts Sunday and goes until Oct. 15, is an official celebration of American citizens whose ancestry can be traced back to Spain, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

The celebration starts in the middle of the month, as opposed to the end, because the 15th marks the independence days of five Latin America countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico, Chile and Belize follow shortly after, on the 16th, 18th and 21st.

For more information on the festival and future events in Palestine, call 903-729-6066 or visit www.palestinechamber.org.

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