(English-language video is below)
Día de la Familia — a free event at which community members are invited to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month — is just days away. It is being held on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Columbia SportsPark, which is located at 5453 Harpers Farm Road near the Harper’s Choice Village Center.
This is the 11th year that Columbia Association (CA) has hosted Día de la Familia, or Family Day. This year’s event will include Latin music and dancing; dance competitions; food provided by Azul 17; games; face painting and balloon animals; a moon bounce; arts and crafts sponsored by Columbia Art Center; Zumba®; “Latin American Soccer Cup” soccer matches; and the SportsPark’s batting cages and mini golf — all for free.
“This is a very popular event with the Hispanic community,” said Laura Smit, CA’s program manager for International Exchange and Multicultural Programs. “It’s not just for Hispanic people, though. It’s for anybody who loves Latin music and culture.”
CA has sponsored Día de la Familia, initially called Día De La Familia Hispana, since 2003. The event 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.
For more information, contact Laura Smit at 410-715-3162 or via email at International@ColumbiaAssociation.org.
About Columbia Association
Columbia Association (CA) is a nonprofit service corporation that manages Columbia, MD, a master planned community that is home to approximately 100,000 people and several thousand businesses. Additional information about CA is available at ColumbiaAssociation.org.
About CA’s International Exchange and Multicultural Programs
CA’s International Exchange & Multicultural Programs foster international understanding and celebrate the diverse cultures of Columbia. The goals of the International Exchange Program include developing new exchanges with Columbia’s three sister cities — Cergy-Pontoise in France, Tres Cantos in Spain, and Tema in Ghana — and creating new Sister City relationships in other cities and nations. CA also develops multicultural programs for the community such as Culture Fests and the International Book Club. For more information, go to ColumbiaAssociation.org/Multicultural or call 410-715-3162.