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Photos courtesy of Andrea Sulsona and Palacio de Long Beach.

For the fifth year in a row, the diverse Latin-American communities of Long Beach got a nighttime spotlight in Downtown on Saturday, complete with music, food, vendors and dance classes that took over the rapidly revitalizing streets of North Pine.

This year, the Latin American Festival, co-presented by the Downtown Long Beach Associates and the office of Vice Mayor Robert Garcia, nixed the afternoon parade that had in the past kicked off a day-long extravaganza, and instead focused its resources on food, vendors and entertainment.

A stage was erected in the middle of Pine Ave. and starting at 5PM, traditional and contemporary Latin-American artists performed including La Santa Cecilia–an East L.A.-based group known for their blend of Latin rhythms and rock music–and Raul Pacheco Y Los Dragones de Cumbia, a cumbia project led by the Ozomatli frontman.

The Arts Council also hosted its first A Lot event at the nearby empty ground between 6th and 7th streets, which included a piñata-making class and a Zumba class. 

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