FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, September 18, 2019

DCA Helps Sponsor Free Event to Celebrate Hispanic Culture, Music, Art and Food

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is helping to sponsor the Atlantic City Latino Festival, a celebration of Hispanic culture, music, art and food that is returning to the city after a 12-year hiatus. DCA is joining the City of Atlantic City, Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA), and Hispanic Association of Atlantic County in presenting the family-oriented Latino Festival, which will take place from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, September 22 at Bader Field. Admission and parking are free.  

More than 3,500 people have already registered online to attend the festival that will feature folkloric dancers, popular DJs, and live Latin music, including salsa, merengue, cumbia, mariachi, bomba, and a performance by Luis Vargas, a popular musician who performs bachata and reggaeton. There will also be about 20 arts and crafts and food vendors and several children-friendly activities such as face painting, inflatable rides, and pony rides. Additionally, the festival, which is happening during Hispanic Heritage Month, will include approximately 50 resource booths from a wide variety of community, non-profit, philanthropic, religious and governmental organizations. 

“New Jersey is an incredibly diverse state and Atlantic City is one of our most diverse cities, with a large Latino and Latina population that has significantly contributed to the city’s rich cultural tradition,” said Acting Governor Sheila Oliver, who serves as DCA Commissioner. “We are stronger because of our diversity, which is why DCA is so pleased to contribute to the revival of the Latino Festival. We encourage everyone to come out and celebrate the music, art, and tastes of Latino and Latina culture in the city during Hispanic Heritage Month.” 

“Community festivals play such an important role in building community pride, elevating the quality of life of residents, and creating an authentic, vibrant sense of place,” said Governor’s Special Counsel Jim Johnson, who is helping lead Atlantic City revitalization efforts and helped author the Atlantic City Transition Report. “This summer’s community concerts in Gardner’s Basin, the music and dance performances along the boardwalk, and the upcoming Latino Festival demonstrate the depth and breadth of the city’s arts and culture heritage.” 

“My administration is happy to see the return of the Atlantic City Latino Festival,” said Atlantic City Mayor Frank M. Gilliam, Jr. “I am always in favor of celebrating the beauty and diversity of the residential base in Atlantic City.” 

Planning for the Latino Festival began after the Latino Town Hall in June during which numerous attendees talked about the importance of the festival and advocated for its return. DCA’s Atlantic City Initiatives Project Office, which hosted the Latino Town Hall, partnered with the City of Atlantic City and the Hispanic Association of Atlantic County and its member groups to organize the festival, which CRDA is funding. 

“The Casino Reinvestment Development Authority is pleased to sponsor the Atlantic City Latino Festival when it returns to the city later this month,” said CRDA Executive Director Matt Doherty. “We know how much this festival means to the community, and it is a great way to celebrate the diverse culture and history that defines Atlantic City.” 

“We are thrilled with this opportunity to showcase our rich Hispanic cultural heritage as part of Hispanic Heritage month. We are thankful for the support of the City of Atlantic City and CRDA for helping to create this community recognition of the role that we as Latinos have played in the U.S. and this city,” said Hispanic Association of Atlantic County President Bert Lopez. “This showcase is part of the value-added contributions that Hispanics bring to the community. Come and celebrate with us and enjoy great Latino music and delicious Latino foods.” 

People coming to the festival are encouraged to represent their favorite Latin American country by bringing a flag and/or wearing clothing representative of that region. Portable chairs and blankets are permitted for lawn seating. 

For more information about the Latino Festival, including a list of non-permissible items and activities, visit People can also register for and obtain free tickets at this website. 

DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including energy assistance, housing vouchers, affordable housing production, fire and building safety, community planning and development, local government management and finance, and disaster recovery. DCA’s Atlantic City Initiatives Project Office is leading the effort to implement critical elements of the Atlantic City Transition Report, which was issued in September 2018 to provide the City of Atlantic City and State with a roadmap for tackling the city’s longstanding challenges.

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Tammori Petty
Gina Trish
Lisa Ryan
(609) 292-6055