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The display of deep Hispanic cultural roots took over Metuchen Town Plaza in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month

PHOTO BY KATHY CHANG/STAFF

METUCHEN – The sounds, movements and colors of South America took over the Metuchen Town Plaza in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Mayor Jonathan Busch and his wife Kathy welcomed the crowd on Oct. 15.

Each year, people across the United States observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 by celebrating and reflecting on the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans with ancestry from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. This year’s theme is “Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation.”

People yelled out their heritages – “Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Nicaragua, Peru, Cuba” – to name a few.

The Metuchen Downtown Alliance (MDA) joined events throughout the country in paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched the nation and society.

The MDA in conjunction with the Metuchen Human Relation’s Commission presented its second annual Downtown Hispanic Heritage Day celebration on the Metuchen Town Plaza with live music, multiple dance performances, local Hispanic-owned restaurants and Latino-based maker’s market.

Before the event, Christina Piedra, artistic dance director and performance artist at the event, said Latinos have deep cultural roots and she was honored to “share and highlight an integral piece of those roots more broadly, so that others can experience and enjoy the beauty of our people.”

“During National Hispanic Heritage Month, we reaffirm that diversity is one of our borough’s greatest strengths in the Borough. As a Latina and supporter of our borough’s cultural events, I’m proud of the continued programming in our community to share in the stories and culture of our fellow friends and neighbors.” said Event organizer Kathy Gross Busch, who noted her family is from Puerto Rico.

Joanne Cruz, owner of Creative Twist Events and event organizer, said coming off the success of last year’s inaugural event, she said they are glad “to expand this year’s programming to be on the Metuchen Town Plaza and include such a rich diversity of performers and activities for the community to learn about Hispanic culture and our people.”

The celebration included salsa, merengue, mambo dancing and lessons, and live bands – Mariachi Nuevo Mexico and Urbano-5.

Mariachi Mexican Restaurant, Angie’s Bakery & Cafe, Mason’s Jar, Pampered Pug, Here We Grow Plant Shop, Atabay Candle Co., Cadena Art and Isla Sofrito were also on hand to celebrate.

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