Festival Latino spices up Biloxi Town Green - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Festival Latino spices up Biloxi Town Green

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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

A little bit of Latin flare graced the Biloxi Town Green Saturday for the 2014 Latin Festival. "Help us to help." That was the theme of this year's Latin Festival in Biloxi.

This is the first year the event has been organized by local club owner Rosie Acosta.

"I thought, ‘well there is a lot of Latin community here in South Mississippi, and it's time for me to help'," said Acosta.

She feels like the Latin community on the coast is growing, but there are some problems she wants to help solve.

"I've seen a lot of families with low income that need help, and I've seen a lot of women with domestic violence so I figured it's time for me to step in," said Acosta.

Staying true to the festival's theme, "Help us to Help," Acosta offered $1 off admission if festival goers brought canned food for the food drive.

She said this year's festival is smaller than previous years. The festival recently has changed leadership.

One thing was for sure, the authentic Latin dishes were plentiful.

"The Latin community, we just love food, but we have clothes. We have a stand that came from Mexico City that brought guitars, little hats, just little things for decoration," said Acosta.

Among the vendors were a few resource tables. Mariela Goodman is a local realtor who specializes in first time home buyers. She attends festivals like this one, because she feels her community has a lot of misinformation about what it takes to own a home.

"They are not sure if they can buy a house, but it's not that difficult. You just need to have somebody in your own language that can explain that to you," said Goodman.

Beyond celebrating the Latino culture, the festival educated people by providing assistance to those within the Latin community. Acosta says she will do the festival again next year and hopes it will be twice as big.

The festival wraps up Saturday at 10 p.m. at the Biloxi Town Green.

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