One of Columbia’s most popular festivals is happening this weekend.
And if you’re heading to the Main Street Latin Festival, you’ll definitely want to bring your dancing shoes – and an appetite.
The daylong party, on Saturday, Aug. 27, will be serving up Latin culture in the form of food, live music, vendors and more. In the past few years, the festival has attracted more than 10,000 people to downtown Columbia, and his year should be no exception.
Here are a few of the things we’re looking forward to.
The festival offers a chance to be adventurous when it comes to food. A few of the Latin specialties you might find there:
▪ Arroz con gandules (yellow rice with pigeon peas)
▪ Pernil (pork shoulder)
▪ Empanadas (meat pocket)
▪ Pinchos (pork or chicken on a stick)
▪ Pupusas (the El Salvadoran version of arepas)
▪ Alcapurrias (a meat pocket made with green plantain and Yuca)
▪ Paella (a big dish with rice and all kinds of seafood)
▪ Tostones (green fried plantains)
▪ Arepas (Venezuelan or Colombian recipes featuring cornmeal cakes or wraps stuffed with veggies, meat and cheese)
▪ Butifarra (Colombian sausage)
This is the 14th year of the festival, and the music never disappoints, with the sounds of salsa, merengue, reggaeton and grupero music filling the downtown corridor.
This year’s featured musician is salsa singer Charlie Aponte, a longtime lead vocalist with Puerto Rico’s El Gran Combo, a salsa orchestra. He released his debut solo album, “Una Nueva Historia,” in 2015.
Not all of us are natural dancers (many of us, not even close). So, to help you prep, here are some basic dance steps to a dance you’re likely to see performed – the salsa.
For visual learning, check out our video, with this story, at gocolumbia.com.
Salsa is a mix of Latin styles, although Cuba and Puerto Rico are usually credited as its place of origin.
Salsa requires more technique than most other Latin dances and is usually considered more difficult.
Start with both of your feet together. On the first beat, step forward with your left foot.
On the second beat, rock back on your right foot. Step back with your left foot, placing the weight on the ball of your foot. Then, place your weight on the heel of your foot.
Repeat on the right side, but start with a step forward.
If you go
Main Street Latin Festival
WHEN: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug, 26
WHERE: 1400 Main St.
COST: Free admission