OGDEN — The upcoming Ogden Hispanic Festival isn't just an opportunity for non-Hispanics to learn about other cultures.
Hispanics can learn a few things, too.
Eulogio Alejandre, vice chairman with the Ogden-based Latinos United Promoting Education and Civic Engagement, said this year's festival will offer a great deal of diversity within the Hispanic community. He said it's an opportunity for everyone to get an education.
"We want to educate even the Latino community about other cultures around the world that they may not know," Alejandre said. "Those from Mexico might know Mexican culture and music, but they may not know as much about other places — like Panama and Cuba."
The Ogden Hispanic Festival will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at Ogden's Union Station. Admission is free.
Alejandre said the festival has been presented three times in the last four years.
"Four years ago was the first time we put it on," he said. "We didn't do it the following year — Union Station was booked — but then last year and this year we've held it."
The theme for this year's festival is "Civic Engagement and Culture the Path to Education and Success." The event will include booths providing information on everything from community, cultural and historical education to Weber State University, Ogden-Weber Technical College and AARP. Candidates for local elected offices have also been invited, according to Alejandre.
A variety of foods representing South America and Mexico, as well as the Latino community in the United States, will be available for purchase.
Music, dance and other entertainment will be offered throughout the afternoon. The band Mariachi Alma Ranchera de Utah will open the festival at 2 p.m., followed at 3 p.m. by WSU Ballet Folklorico the local dance troupe Newara.
At 4 p.m., LONDS Bohemias will perform. The quartet plays a variety of music from around the world.
At 5 p.m., Tamborazo Diamante Zacatecano will play regional banda music. Alejandre said the group plays a very old type of music, featuring all wind instruments.
At 6 p.m., the children's mariachi group Mariachi Aguilas de la Esperanza will take the stage.
The festival will conclude with a 7 p.m. show by Latin Roots, a band out of Salt Lake City. Origninally called Orquesta Latino, the original band formed in 1999. These days, it features 11 musicians from around the world, playing a mix of salsa, merengue, cumbia and more.
Alejandre said he hopes all will feel welcome to attend, "because we all have something to learn from one another."
"Come and enjoy the music and the food, and partake of the things we have to offer one another," he said. "This is not just to educate the Latino community, but others as well."
Alejandre said unity is particularly important at this time, especially in a community as diverse as Ogden.
"We need to get to know one another," he said. That's the purpose or the objective — trying to get to know one another. ... I think this is a great opportunity for us to learn from one another."