The food alone was enticing, and the fun, games and music made the afternoon all the more exciting. There was much to do, and much to enjoy, for the 438 people who came out to celebrate at Columbia Association’s (CA) 10th annual Día de la Familia event.
The free event, held Sept. 29 at the Columbia SportsPark, has been hosted by CA since 2003. This year’s event included a DJ playing Latin music; food; a moon bounce; children’s entertainers; arts and crafts sponsored by Columbia Art Center; a Zumba® demonstration; soccer games; and the SportsPark’s batting cages and mini golf — all for free.
Día de la Familia, or Family Day, grew out of gatherings of local Hispanic residents and began as part of an effort alongside community groups such as Conexiones to increase foreign-born residents’ awareness of CA and help ease their transition into the area, all while coinciding with National Hispanic Heritage Month.
National Hispanic Heritage Month “started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on Sept. 15 and ending on Oct. 15,” according to HispanicHeritageMonth.gov, which noted that the independence days for Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua all fall between Sept. 15 and Sept. 18, while Día de la Raza, or Columbus Day, is Oct. 12.