Channel 32, Univision, out of Salt Lake City, was busy interviewing folks outside of Union Station on Friday about Saturday’s Hispanic Fest.
Their coverage will be on tonight’s 5 p.m. news, the reporter said. The festival is being hosted by LUPEC (Latinos United Promoting Education and Civic Engagement), a Weber county group formed recently to give voice to Ogden’s and Weber County’s growing hispanic population. The promoters hope it will add to improved integration of all diverse populations of Weber County.
The festival is from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Browning Theater, with free admission. There will be performances by Mexican folks performers, art and food for sale.
Rhonda Lauritzen, Ogden Weber Tech vice president of student services, said the festival is historic “because it shows that Ogden is coming together and making sure that Ogden is the most welcoming community in the entire state.”
Martha Syme, Ogden-Weber Tech’s diversity outreach coordinator, said she and others in LUPEC have been working with the city to bridge the historic gaps between Ogden’s various populations. Ogden saw a lot of racism aimed at blacks in its past, and hispanics have felt some of that in recent years.
Union Station is a fitting host for efforts to build that bridge because it is home to the city’s history built around the railroads. People of all races and creeds worked to build the railroad, and the descendants of those people live in Ogden today. If we want to get them to visit our museums, we have to make those museums show their contributions to the building of the city they call home.
Luis Lopez, who is a candidate for at-large seat on the Ogden City Council, said the festival fits with his efforts as community education director for Weber State University. If students see they are part of the city, and not just someone who lives there, he said, they see the value of education that can make them more able to have a full life.