A day full of fun!

From salsa dancers to Spanish flamenco performers, !Hola! Fest 2018 will be sure to entertain and educate the entire family. 

For adults there will be dominoes and cigar rolling. For children, there will be face paining, crafts and dance workshops.

And so much more to help you enjoy the diversity of Latin American culture!


Salsa as you've never seen


Professional salsa dancers at Yenyere Dance studio in Union City will be sure to bring the house down. Featured in “America’s got talent,” they take salsa dancing to a whole new level. 

Colombian Folklore

 ICAL Folklore Dance Group brings you the rich, folkloric rhythms and dance from Colombia. Based in Hackensack, NJ, this talented dance group will transport you to the Colombia’s Caribbean coast with its energetic and cultural dance moves. 

Mariachi Nuevo Mexico

 Mariachi Nuevo Mexico was formed in May 2000 by five of the most skilled mariachi musicians in the region. Under the direction of trumpet player Rene Perez Diaz, Mariachi Nuevo Mexico features a vihuela, Mexican bass (Guitarrón), violin, and two trumpets. It is one of the few bilingual mariachi bands in the area.  



Hola Fest will feature a flamenco performance from a local dance star. Flamenco is more than a vibrant dance, it’s an art form. It originates in Spain and is believed to have been invented by gypsies, or gitanos.

Antonia (Toni) Messina is a professional Flamenco dancer and teacher who has danced in the U.S. and abroad for over 20 years. She currently teaches in Maplewood through the South Orange/Maplewood Adult School.

Indigenous Dances


Several indigenous dance groups will bring their exotic dances to Hola Fest: 

Tonantzin Coatlicue is an indigenous-infused dance group that transports you to the jungles of Ecuador and Mexico so you can experience a rich, tribal ritual.

Tinkus San Simon NJ and Caporales San Simon, two local Bolivian groups will perform traditional Andean dances.

Mexico, Central and South America have large indigenous populations that go back to the Aztecs of Mexico, the Inca and Tiahuanaco civilizations of the Andes and the Mayans of Central America. These roots run deep and are an important part of our history and culture.

Kids Activities

Face Painting

 Hola Fest will offer Dia de los Muertos face painting for kids. Given worldwide fame by the movie “Coco,” Dia de los Muertos is a spectacular holiday celebrated in Mexico that honors those who have passed away. It starts on Oct. 31, when people in the United States are dressing up as scary ghosts, goblins and witches. But Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, which ends Nov. 2, is not a scary holiday. It’s a rich celebration of a loved one’s life, and the living offer the departed food, drinks and some of their prized possessions. All of it is placed on an altar, or ofrenda.

Skulls, or calaveras, are an important part of Dia de los Muertos. People paint their faces, not to frighten, but to honor the dead.

Crafts: Carnaval Masks

Kids will have the chance to make their own Carnaval Masks at Hola Fest. 

Carnaval is celebrated all though Latin America and has its roots in Catholicism. From January to early March, many parts of Latin America — from Rio de Janeiro to Barranquilla, Colombia to Bolivia, Dominican Republic and Venezuela — will celebrate carnival as a last hurrah before the solemn rituals of Lent begin.  Colorful and different, will surely be a favorite for kids at Hola Fest.