Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival ends 2015 season and announces new location for 2016


The 14th annual Latino Heritage Festival is in the books, but organizers are already looking toward the 2016 festival.


Next year’s event will take place in a new venue: Western Gateway Park in downtown Des Moines. The location has been changed because of pending construction on the city’s river bridges.

Organizers also have decided to create an annual theme for the festival, which will be announced in March, along with details for the annual poster contest. Poster designs will be due April 1, 2016. Each year, dozens of Iowa college students apply to have their design selected as the one that will be used for the printed materials that publicize the festival.


“We had a great festival this year and look forward to unveiling new attractions for attendees in 2016,” said Joe Gonzalez, executive director of Latino Resources Inc., the umbrella organization that oversees the festival. “We’re very excited about hosting the festival in a new venue and hope it’ll draw even more to attend.”

This year’s civic engagement booth, where there was information about how to register to vote, how voting works, voters’ rights issues, and about the Iowa Caucuses, drew hundreds of people. The political soapbox was particularly popular. Candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley, both Democrats, participated.

Gonzalez said festival organizers wanted to thank everyone who attended and especially the event sponsors.


“We could not hold a cultural event of this magnitude without the support of the community and our sponsors,” he said.

This year’s naming rights sponsors were: Nationwide Insurance and Polk County Supervisors.


Silver level sponsors are: Bravo, Dupont Pioneer, Principal Financial Group and Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Bronze level sponsors are: Century Link, Des Moines Area Community College, Faegre Baker Daniels, Meredith Corp., Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino, Wartburg College, and Wells Fargo.


Friends of the festival are: AARP, Bankers Trust, Federal Home Loan Bank, Greater Iowa Credit Union, Hola Iowa, Iowa Beverage, Iowa National Guard, John Deere, Metro Credit Union and Veridian Credit Union.

For more information, visit, or contact Melissa Walker at 515-681-7731 or [email protected]. Visit Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival on Facebook and #ialatinoheritagefestival on Instagram.


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