Fiesta Hispana celebrated in Rochelle Saturday

‘I saw a lot of people being proud of who they are’

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ROCHELLE — Fiesta Hispana was celebrated on Saturday in Rochelle in the downtown gazebo area. 

The event, sponsored by the city, included music, food, dancing, crafts, vendors and more. Event organizer and Rochelle City Councilwoman Rosaelia Arteaga said Fiesta Hispana met and went beyond expectations a year after it had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

She said the crowd was steady and a lot of attendees stayed all day. The schedule of events played out well and the weather cooperated, Arteaga said. 

“The event is very important because of our population,” Arteaga said. “It’s a mix of hispanic cultures. Rochelle is small, but it has a lot of different Latin American families of all cultures. To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month for all cultures and working with everyone in town, this was for everybody. More than just hispanic people. There was something for everybody. It was nice for people to celebrate.”

Arteaga said Fiesta Hispana started four years ago. It started on a small scale, but now she said she’s looking to form a committee of people who enjoy the event and want to see it grow along with possible new events like it. 

Originally from Mendota, Arteaga said the reason she moved to Rochelle was because of how it embraces the diversity and culture of its residents. That was on display Saturday, she said. 

“I saw a lot of people being proud of who they are and where they come from,” Arteaga said. “And I saw non-hispanic people who came out and enjoyed the event as well. I was proud of how it turned out. I always felt the city was that way. That’s what keeps me here and going. It makes me very happy and proud. I love the way people come together to celebrate each other.”