Orange County Marks Hispanic Heritage Month with Communitywide Celebrations
Orange County recently celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with a reception on the north lawn of the Orange County Government Administration Center that featured musical performances, delicious food and an exhibition highlighting the works of talented local Hispanic artists.
The event, coordinated by the Hispanic Heritage Committee of Greater Orange County (HHCGOC), was attended by Orange County commissioners, constitutional officers, employees and more than 150 citizens.
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs was the keynote speaker at the event and acknowledged the many accomplishments of Hispanics in Orange County.
“We are so proud to partner with the Hispanic Heritage Committee to recognize and celebrate the many achievements and contributions made by citizens of Hispanic descent in Orange County and throughout American history,” said Mayor Jacobs.
Several community leaders attended the reception including Mayor Jacobs, Orange County Commissioner District 1 Scott Boyd, Orange County Commissioner District 6 Tiffany Moore Russell, Clerk of the Courts Eddie Fernandez, Property Appraiser Rick Singh, Supervisor of Elections Bill Cowles and City of Orlando Commissioner Tony Ortiz.
“We’re so lucky to live in a country that embraces diversity,” said Roberto Acevedo, Special Assistant for Constituent Relations and Hispanic Outreach for Mayor Jacobs, who currently serves as the vice president of HHCGOC. “Hispanic Heritage Month gives us the opportunity to share with the rest of the world our traditions, music, and of course, our amazing food.”
Hispanic Heritage Month 2014 is celebrated from September 15 through October 15. This month-long observance of Hispanic traditions and influence in the United States was enacted into law in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan. As a part of this effort, Orange County Government and the Orange County Parks and Recreation Division will host several events organized by HHCGOC throughout the month. All activities are free and open to the public.
“Orange County is a richly diverse community, serving as home to people with roots leading back to many places from around the globe,” said Special Assistant to Mayor Jacobs Emmanuel Tormes, who currently serves as president of the HHCGOC. “Latinos have made innumerable contributions serving as entrepreneurs, community leaders, and public servants, among many other roles.”
The reception showcased the month-long exhibition of unique artwork by local painters, highlighting the influence of Hispanic culture in Central Florida. The art pieces will be featured in the Administration Center’s atrium through October 15. The atrium is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The HHCGOC’s next celebration, Orange Fiesta in the Park, will take place on Saturday, September 27, at 11 a.m. in Downey Park, at 10107 Flowers Ave. (the intersection of E. Colonial Dr. and Dean Rd.), in Orlando.
Guests of Orange Fiesta in the Park may enjoy a variety of treats from food truck vendors, live musical performances, and access to resources from our community partners and service agencies. Children are invited to play in one of the inflatable bounce houses or cool off at Downey Park’s splash pad.
As a part of Orange Fiesta in the Park, Mayor Jacobs will lead a special tribute honoring the newest recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal, the veterans of the U.S. Army 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the Borinqueneers. Festivities will also include an awards ceremony for winners of HHCGOC’s student art contest.
The Hispanic Heritage Committee of Greater Orange County is a volunteer-based organization founded in 1999 with the purpose of providing opportunities that promote and highlight the contributions made by individuals of Hispanic descent in the community. The Committee has about 15 members who work throughout the County.
A collection of photos from the Hispanic Heritage Month reception are available on Flickr for use by the media.