Fiesta Fest Brings Latin Flavor To Coast Residents

Mary Jane Brunelle has been dancing since she was nine years old, and she still can't stop moving while sitting or standing.

Latin music has taken over this 80 year old former dance teacher, and she will not be stopped.

"It just tells you how to move. It does. You just feel it," Brunelle said.

Ms. Brunelle joined hundreds of others at the 2003 Fiesta Fest held in the Grand Casino Pavilion in Gulfport.

The festival offered everything - arts and crafts, psychic readings and an opportunity to win a ride home. But more importantly, it offered good food and good music. That's what the festival was all about.

"It's important because I'm trying to get the community connected and I want to expose more of a Latin culture to the Gulf Coast," organizer Stan Galarza said.

Folks were treated to the New Orleans band Fuerza Latina or "Latin Force".

"The Force" delivered everything from merengue to salsa.

Galarza says there are 17 Latin American countries represented on the coast.