CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

May 4, 2013

Rain doesn’t dampen spirit of Fiesta event

By Tiffany Green-Oldacre
The Cullman Times

CULLMAN — The rain didn’t stop people from coming out to the second annual CommUNITY Fiesta at Sportsman’s Lake Park Saturday afternoon.

Yenny Laney, event organizer and director of Hispanic ministries of First United Methodist Church, said after last year’s success, she knew she wanted the event to continue.

“I thought it was a great idea. We wanted to bring the communities together,” she said.

Many in the Hispanic community were scared after the passing of immigration laws last year and this event was organized to ease tensions between the Anglo and Hispanic communities.

“We can realize we both need each other,” Laney said.

Of course the biggest hit last year was the food. Many local Mexican restaurants contributed food and volunteered their time to make the event a success.

“We realized it was a hit and the Hispanic food ran out quick last year, so we know we are needed here,” Laney laughed.

Joe Holmes, a Cullman Rotary Club member, who helped to organize the event, said they hope to continue it for many years to come.

“Last year we had kind of a dark moment for the Hispanic community. We want them to know they are loved and appreciated and needed in our community,” Holmes said. “I think it’s been a great thing. We hope to continue it as an annual event.”

Along with the delicious Mexican food, there were games and bounce houses for the kids, a DJ playing music and even some Zumba lessons.

Edmundo Jaramillo brought his children and nieces to the event. He said they enjoyed coming last year and wanted to come back.

“It’s a real good event for our community,” he said.

Mary Tarisa Jameniz, who is 12 years old, attended last year and came back with her family.

“Well, we love it. We came for the food. We think this is a good event for the community and we love it,” she said.

Her dad, Juan Jameniz, added that it is a great thing for the community.

“To me, it’s a great event to bring the community together,” he said. “We really like to support this.”

Everything was free and there were even door prizes given away each hour.

Jacqueline Rosas, a Cullman High School senior, came out to have a day of fun and ended up volunteering at the dessert table.

“I think this is such a good way to help people learn about other people’s cultures.”