This weekend, Gainesville's Hispanic flavor will be out in full force.
The Chamber of Hispanic Affairs will host the 10th annual Downtown Latino Festival in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month.
The festival will be held from noon to 5 p.m. on Sept. 24 and 25 at the Bo Diddley Downtown Community Plaza at 111 E. University Ave.
The Chamber of Hispanic Affairs, a nonprofit organization, will bring vendors and informational booths, as well as live musical and cultural performances together.
"We also strive to connect the Hispanic population and greater community to resources such as health awareness, testing, non-profits, community resources," said David Ruiz, treasurer of the Chamber of Hispanic Affairs and organizer of the event.
Though the festival is returning for its 10th year, it has seen changes in the declining economy.
"The most difficult part of planning the festival is from year to year trying to keep the same sponsors and vendors given the economic conditions out there," Ruiz said.
According to the 2010 U.S Census, 8.4 percent of people living in Alachua County are Hispanic. But the Downtown Latino Festival does not only cater to Hispanics.
It celebrates Latinos and offers them a chance to share their culture with the other 91.6 percent of community members.
"[The festival] creates a presence for Latino people. Most people think of Gainesville as a white town. This lets people know about other cultures," said Stephanie Salazar, president of The Hispanic Student Association and past attendee of the festival.
According to the College Board, 17 percent of UF's first-year students are Hispanic/Latino.
Accounting freshman Gloria Hernandez said she's looking forward to the festival.
"It's all about the food. You can't get any home cooking up here, at least for us Hispanics," she said. "I'm definitely attending the festival, [I] have to have my tostada and café con leche."