Combining Cultures: Amigos de Westfield returns for second year

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By Anna Skinner

For last year’s inaugural Amigos de Westfield, attendance far exceeded expectations.

“Over 700 people came last year,” said Emily Clark, community event manager. “That was really great, so we thought we definitely need to do it again, so let’s see how we can grow it and what new things we can do.”

Amigos de Westfield will return for its second year, 4 to 8 p.m., Aug. 27, at Asa Bales Park, 205 W. Hoover St.

The event was born out of the city’s English as a Second Language classes, which began in 2014.

“This event was started because we started an ESL class through our parks department a couple of years ago, and that class kept growing and growing,” Clark said. “(Members) came to us last year and said they really want to have something that’s authentic … like authentic food, dance and everything here in Westfield.”

The parks department began working with ESL members to organize the inaugural Amigos de Westfield, but Clark said the expectation of attendees was limited to families and friends of ESL members. However, many more attended, and ESL members served as the primary volunteers.

Last year, there were piñatas, face painting, performances by the Ballet Folkloricos Mosaicos dancers and a few food vendors. Clark said this year the Westfield Parks and Recreation Dept. is organizing more entertainment.

KIDS’ AREA

The kids’ area for the 2016 Amigos de Westfield will  be larger than last year, with face-painting, bounce houses, more games and piñatas. Some of the face paintings will be cultural, with  different flags children can choose from.

ENTERTAINMENT AND FOOD

The Ballet Folkloricos Mosaicos dancers will return again this year, and a new band, Voz De Arranque, also will perform. There will be a variety of authentic food, including tamales, guacamole, tacos and more. Two vendors, Limonez and Dulceria and Neveria Matthew, are from Westfield.

MAYOR’S CUP

A new event planned this year is the Mayor’s Cup, a futsol championship with teams of five competing for a trophy. There are four divisions for ages 9 and up, including seniors.

“I think (Amigos de Westfield) is two-fold because you have the Latino culture that lives here in Westfield, and the city has been trying to engage them and to really embrace their culture, their heritage and them being residents of Westfield,” Communications Director Erin Murphy said. “For residents who are not Latino, it’s a great way to learn more about that heritage. We live in a diverse country and community, and we should learn about one another.”

For more, visit enjoywestfieldevents.com.

Amigos Timeline:

  • 4 to 8 p.m.: Kids’ area
  • 4 to 8 p.m.: Authentic food
  • 4 to 5:30 p.m.: Mayor’s Cup Championship
  • 6 to 7 p.m.: Ballet Folkloricos Mosaicos
  • 7 to 8 p.m.: Voz De Arranque

ESL classes now offered at Grace Church

Since its inception in 2014, the English as a Second Language classes outgrew the Westfield Parks and Recreation Dept., and they are now offered at Grace Church, 5504 E. 146th St., Noblesville.

“It grew so large that we wanted to formalize it a little bit, and it’s now based out of the care center at Grace Church,” said Emily Clark, community event manager. “They have a curriculum, and there’s over 100 students and dozens of people on the waiting list.”

For more, visit gracechurch.us/care/care-center/.


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