the St. Louis
Hispanic Festival

August 14 and 15, 1999

This annual event spotlights the diverse cultures that are loosely grouped under the term "Hispanic". It runs two days in a natural amphitheater in Jefferson Barracks park. The show features music and dancing from many countries; we saw Mexican and Panamanian folkdances, and others the day we went.

mexican dancers

panamanian dancers
Panamanian dancers

Nora is primarily interested in the dancing, music and beautiful costumes. The music plays almost continually whether there are actual performers on stage or not. Of course some of the performers are the musicians; there was a flamenco guitarist, drummers, and a mariachi band.
The beautifully detailed dresses are traditional with exquisite headdresses. panamanian dress
Bruce is more interested in the food. Booths ring the amphitheater selling food from every country, crafts, clothing, music and margaritas! The various societies, councils, etc. are always represented as are the two local radio stations that play Latin music.

paso fino horses

The Paso Fino Horse Association is usually there offering kiddie rides and demonstrations of the breeds remarkably smooth, syncopated gate. They walk the horses over boards laid on the grass so you can hear their rhythmic hoofbeats.
The couple below looked like they were truly enjoying themselves despite the heat while they demonstrated several dance styles including:

the Tango

and the Cha Cha
cha cha

But with all that music -- everybody danced!


everybody sweat now

90 degrees in the shade After all it was barely in the 90's and that ain't bad for August in St. Louis!

It's always well attended and can be a very pleasant way to spend an afternoon or evening. Next year we plan on bringing a blanket and staking out a shady spot under the trees at the rim of the amphitheater. A much more comfortable way to enjoy a day of music and margaritas.
Want to find out more? See their website --
Want to see more photos?    2001   2002