Latin Night Live heats up Ashland

Oct. 3—ASHLAND — Ashland for Change and Visit Ashland sponsored Latin Night Live on Saturday in downtown Ashland. The event was originally scheduled to be held at Broadway Square for a night of Latin music by special guest Deejey Juarez, complete with food, drinks and a showcase of Hispanic culture.

Due to inclement weather, it was moved inside on the fourth floor of the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center. The change of venue didn't slow the party down, however, as a large crowd of all ages enjoyed music and rich Hispanic culture.

Dancing, food and good company seemed to be the order of the evening as people from all around the region came to enjoy a night among friends.

Many came in costume representing the Hispanic Day of the Dead and brought photographs of deceased loved ones to place on an altar set up in their honor. Kids (and a few adults) enjoyed craft activities, vendors were set up for patrons to browse their wares, and local artists participated in an art show.

Admission and entertainment were free to the public, and Chuy's Mexican Street Food and Shalei's Harbor sold delicious food to add to the Hispanic flavor of the evening. Community sponsors for the event included Vesuvius USA, King's Daughter's Medical Center and DESCO Federal Credit Union.

The event was part of a larger focus on Hispanic Heritage Week (Sept. 24 through Oct. 1), with the goal of education of diverse cultures making the larger community richer.

Ashland For Change is a community-led organization geared toward educating others on societal inequality and discrimination toward minority groups. AFC is seeking community and governmental changes to become a more progressive Appalachian city.

Hispanic culture adds to the diversity of the tri-state area, and is diverse in and of itself as well. Hispanic artists, writers and other creatives have contributed to American culture from the country's birth, and continue to do so each day.

The layers and strata of any society is what keeps it strong and vibrant, and awareness of this ensures a better future. The smiles and laughter at Saturday night's event are the sights and sounds of what Ashland For Change envisions for the future.

(606) 326-2655 — cromans@dailyindependent.com