This year, the Millsboro, Del., festival was taken over by La Esperanza, a Georgetown-based organization that provides a variety of services to the local Hispanic community. Prior to this year, local community organization El Centro Culturo had organized and run the event for the past 21 years.
“[El Centro Culturo] had several volunteers retiring and they wanted to give it back to the community so that’s why we took it over,” said La Esperanza Interim Executive Director Crystal Timmons-Underwood.
In September 2014, La Esperanza took over the reins and started planning for the festival.
The annual international festival kicked off in Sussex County on Sunday, Aug. 9, bringing in thousands of guests for fun activities, entertainment and traditional food favorites from different Hispanic cultures.
A number of Hispanic outreach organizations, including the Delaware Hispanic Commission, La Esperanza and La Red Medical Center, were on hand to share information with guests about the various services and programs they offer the community.
Between the live music and the food, Paula Perez from Millsboro said she cannot get enough of what Festival Hispano offers.
“Last year I missed it because it rained and other things were going on, but I love coming here,” said Paula Perez. “I love the atmosphere, I love the people. I’m half Puerto Rican and I come for the Puerto Rican food, but the Mexican food is really great as well.”
According to Timmons-Underwood, all proceeds go towards the Hispanic community. Based on vendor information, the festival saw around 5,000 people. Vendors said there were more children and all the playhouses were filled to the max. Overall, La Esperanza organizers say there were more people than years past.
“Next year we will have to bring in more moon bounces and playhouses for the children because we imagine the event will continue to grow,” Timmons-Underwood said.
Timmons-Underwood projects there will be about $20,000 raised from this event that will be given back to the Hispanic community.
Boasting ‘beautiful scenery, hometown history and culture and civic pride, Millsboro claims to be a great place to visit and live.
The town is centrally located with easy access along major thorofares making it ‘the center for commerce, employment and all the good life Southern Delaware has to offer.’
According to town officials, Millsboro’s business and municipal leadership is progressive while the community retains charm and flavor of rural hometown roots.
With decorative ‘Welcome’ banners lining the streets of downtown Millsboro, visitors can feel welcome in this part of Sussex County.