Wiping sweat from brows and waving fans, a few families began to gather at the canopied center of Headwaters Park on Saturday afternoon for the annual Festival De Verano, or Hispanic Summer Fest.
It was early, and since the party would go on until after midnight, many more were expected to turn out for the gala – about 1,500 more, said Alejandro Arenas, 37, event director.
The festival, sponsored by local station WGBJ, La Unica, 102.3 FM, began four years ago.
The crowd grows every year, he said.
The event features many favorite Mexican foods and beverages, merchandise vendors and children’s activity booths.
It’s a big party, Arenas said.
It attracts adults and children throughout the Fort Wayne area, including many who are from different countries, Arenas said.
The crowd is about 80 percent Mexican and the bands are from Mexico, as well, but we also have people from South America, Guatemala and other countries, he said.
Five bands were scheduled to rock the center until after midnight: Los Amos De Nuevo Leon, Banda El Peñasco De Zacatecas, Los B-OK, Viento y Sol and Los Cadetes De Linares.
The 90-degree weather did not seem to deter festivalgoers and even appeared to be a good thing for the beverage vendors that lined the plaza.