The ¿Qué Pasa? Festival, organized by the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (VAHCC) – with the generous help of Venture Richmond – will highlight this state’s diversity and the international melting pot that is Virginia. An annual event to jump-start the summer season, ¿Qué Pasa? Festival showcases the culture and beauty of many Latin American countries.
On Saturday, May 3rd, Richmond’s Canal Walk will undergo a community-based transformation to resemble the famous Floating Gardens of Xochimilco for ¿Qué Pasa?, beginning at 11:00 a.m. partying its way through the city streets until 7:00 p.m. Richmond’s own Floating Garden boats will offer free boat rides throughout the festival. Bursts of authentic live latin music and performances along the Canal Walk will energize the thousands expected to come to enjoy scrumptious Latin-flavored food, beverages and dazzling arts and crafts. The festival hopes to further economic and tourist development for Richmond’s riverfront by casting this one-of-a-kind aesthetic spotlight on the Canal Walk.
A dynamic mixture of sights, sounds and tastes, our ¿Qué Pasa? Festival invites each participant to fully engage in this unique opportunity for direct access into Virginia’s Hispanic demographic. Since the first ¿Qué Pasa? festival ten years ago, Virginia’s Hispanic population has nearly doubled to 633,945, according to the 2010 US Census. Last year in 2013, close to 9,000 residents and tourists enjoyed this wonderful event celebrating a culture that honors family, invites participation, and loves food. This year’s Festival is estimated to host more than 15,000 eager ¿Qué Pasa? participants.
The VAHCC Foundation encourages and engages our youth in friendly competition to highlight various Latino countries and educate attendees. Schools across the state will get into the festive spirit with educational competitions encouraging students to expand their knowledge of international culture and show off their creativity. Students will take part in a learning experience creating authentic Hispanic country displays while working hand-in-hand with citizens from those countries.
"One of the goals of the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is to build economic bridges between the Latino community and the community-at-large," says Michel Zajur, CEO & Founder of the VAHCC. ‘¿Qué Pasa?’ allows everyone the chance to experience Latin American culture right here in Virginia."