The 2019 “Viva Perry!” Latino Festival made a successful return to downtown Perry Saturday, as 2nd Street was filled with people celebrating the rich Hispanic culture of the City.

The event was hosted by Hispanics United for Perry (HUP), and it included a wide variety of new and established activities throughout the day. HUP member Rosa Gonzalez said it was good being back downtown after last year’s event was postponed to October and moved to the parking lot at Perry High School. She said while the 2018 celebration was successful for what it was, she noticed a marked difference in the overall vibe of the festival this year. “You can see the difference, many people have actually mentioned that; that this is a good location, the weather helps, and the atmosphere is really positive. People are just having a lot of fun and enjoying the day!”

One annual event during the festival was the presentation of the HUP Citizen of the Year award, which on this occasion was given to Dallas County Hospital and CEO Angela Mortoza. A new event this year was a 5K fun run in the morning, which Gonzalez said didn’t have a big turnout. Regardless, she was glad they held the run and is confident it will be well attended next year. “It doesn’t matter how many people show up, we were able to enjoy the run. Myself, learning a lot, because I’ve never done a 5K before. It’s part of a learning experience for me, and (I’m) very happy to see that the participants enjoyed what they did this morning.”

All the proceeds from the 5K and other donations and sponsorships received throughout the Latino Festival will benefit the HUP scholarships, given each year to Hispanic students graduating from Perry High School.