[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Colombian Festival, held on Saturday, July 18, and Sunday, July 19, at the Copernicus Center, offered a refreshing alternative to the festival season already in full force in Chicago.
Crowds of people dressed in yellow, blue and red clothing endured the high temperatures to celebrate Colombian culture. The festival offered plenty of food like empanadas and pinchos from Latin restaurants such as Las Tablas and El Aconaz. El Champeón provided refreshments, a fan favorite being Acapulco-inspired Pina Coladas.
Positioned in the northern area of the festival was a stage that held performances by Latin American artists such as Ely Holguin and Luis Angel Diaz. Colombian natives Tribu Baharu lit up the stage with their flashy smiles, eclectic clothes and rambunctious dancing met with catchy tunes. Festival goers, young and old, enjoyed the music and danced throughout each artist’s set.
What set Colombian Festival apart from the various other festivals throughout Chicago was the familial quality. Instead of half-dressed millennials head-banging to alternative sounds, groups of families comprised of grandparents, parents and children, set up folding chairs and made makeshift camps to enjoy the festivities. Colombian Festival resembled more of a family cookout than a festival, but in a good way.
“I never thought I’d come to a festival with Abuelo but this is a lot of fun,” Morena said, Esteban smiling in agreement. “We even coordinated outfits!”
Morena and her family wore matching yellow shirts with “COLOMBIA” written in bold letters across and complimented the other festival goers in their bright attire and headwear. Other members of the Morena family danced to the music, smiles and laughter rampant throughout.
The Morenas were not the only family members in attendance. Daniel, 29, and Miranda Corrello, 31, were dancing with their parents when the emcee interrupted the music to say the Himno Nacional de la República de Colombia or the Colombian Pledge of Allegiance.
As the emcee recited the anthem, the Corrello men took off their hats and laid them across their chests, proudly yelling the words along with the crowd.
“We’re from Cali and very proud,” Daniel Corrello said as the anthem was finished. “Being able to enjoy being Colombian in a country I love, in Chicago, a city I love, with family, people I love, goes without words.”
This post is also available in: Spanish