ROCHELLE — La Fiesta Hispana was held downtown in the gazebo area over the weekend. The event is in its fourth year and included music and various performances, food vendors, contests, a soccer tournament, attractions for kids and a craft show.
"The day has gone well,” Event Organizer and Rochelle City Councilwoman Rosaelia Arteaga said. “Everything is organized. The food and craft vendors are in place. This year we included a mariachi band, which we haven't in the past. They play for two hours. We have vendors from Chicago that have branched out to us. We have food vendors from the DeKalb area and Rockford. We're trying to get more people involved and make it bigger.”
The soccer tournament was held at Midwest Park and had competing teams from Sycamore, Peoria, Sterling, Rockford, Belvidere and Rochelle. Rochelle Palmeiras finished in first place and Peoria FC finished second.
La Fiesta Hispana is the second event of the year that Arteaga works to organize. Cinco De Mayo was held earlier this year and drew a large crowd to the downtown. She said the work isn’t easy and volunteers are always needed. The events have gained traction both in and out of Rochelle.
"A lot more events like Fiesta Hispana are happening in other areas,” Arteaga said. “It's becoming more popular."
Arteaga said she enjoys seeing local vendors come out for the event and she likes including them along with the businesses that are already downtown. Dancers from Rochelle performed at the event as well.
“This is about having a good time,” Arteaga said. “It's about family and including everybody. I think what I enjoy most is watching the smiles, whether it's the adults or the kids. I love seeing a mix of people. That's the biggest thing.”