It’s time for Viva Brevard to celebrate Hispanic heritage


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Folkloric dancing is one of the highlights of Viva Brevard, a free festival that celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month on Saturday, Oct. 12.

Courtesy of Brevard Hispanic Center

Put on the party hat, because October brings two major events that celebrate Brevard County’s Hispanic connection.

Just in time for National Hispanic Heritage Month, the board of directors of the Brevard Hispanic Center have orchestrated not one, but two parties, each very different, but both sharing the colorful and enticing energy of the Hispanic community.

Your best finery will be the outfit of choice for the Viva Brevard Gala, which runs from 6:30 p.m. to midnight, Saturday, Oct. 5 at Red Ginger Restaurant in Melbourne Square. The black-tie event includes cocktails, dinner, dancing, folkloric groups and recognition of community leaders.

A week after the gala, the 2019 Viva Brevard Festival and Business Expo will “explode” over Fred Poppe Regional Park at 1951 Malabar Road NW in Palm Bay from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12.

“We had over 3,000 people at last year’s festival and expect that many, if not more, for this year,” said Javier Molinares, the publisher of Al Dia Today, Brevard County’s bilingual newspaper, and founder of the Brevard Hispanic Center.

The fiesta includes non-stop music, delicious Latino cuisine, cultural music and dancers, children’s activities and a vendor village. Viva Brevard promotes multicultural integration and encourages diversity.

All proceeds, 100 percent, from both events benefit the Brevard Hispanic Center, which provides a range of services for the local community, both Hispanic and non-Hispanic.

Part of the center’s services is the DelaCruz Volunteer Health clinic, a free facility for non-insured individuals. Volunteer doctors and medical staff have developed partnerships with other organizations to help patients receive appropriate medical care without the worry of not having funds to pay for these services.

Through the English Language Integration Program, the Hispanic Center partners with Brevard Public Schools Adult Education Program to offer English language classes to help individuals scale the language barriers that might be blocking academic and job opportunities.

The Hispanic Center also provides employment services such as resume building, interview training, licensing and networking with potential employers.

Molinares believes there is no better time than the present to participate in both the gala and the festival.

“It is very important to celebrate each other’s cultures at a time when there can be so much divisiveness,” Molinares said.

Tickets for the Oct. 5 Viva Brevard Gala are $65 per guest or $120 per couple. Purchase tickets at vivabrevard.com.

Admission to Viva Brevard on Oct. 12 is free.