By Nkechi Odina-Seale
August 28th, 2011
I’m not normally a festival kind of girl, meaning I always want to go but never make it there, and Expo Latino is just one of those festivals. I always see the signs and the ads and tell myself “I really have to make it there” and every year something comes up. But this year I was determined to go, so I picked up my Sister and my two girls (6-year old and 3.5-year old) and we went.
We arrived at Eau Claire Market and strolled over to the island, enjoying the splash park and the playgrounds that we passed. We arrived and realized… we were 30 minutes early! (I guess I was kind of a keener). But the staff was amazing for us early folk, and they pulled out some chairs for the elderly to sit and wait.
Once it was open we were off! Right away an aisle full of beautiful goodies greeted us. Clothes, jewelry, toys, undergarments… yes I said undergarments. Some with butt padding, for those times you want a more voluptuous bottom . We took our time checking out each vendor’s booth and the kids enjoyed it as well because almost every both had something for the kids, $2 bracelets, $5 toys, free face painting and balloon animals (amazing how quickly an elephant can become a snake).
We successfully completed the row shops a few bags heavier and reached a three-pronged fork in the road. The first row led to “Learn to Dance” booths and a ginormous bouncy castle that was about the size of my starter home. We let the kids play while we spoke with some people at the dance booths. Latin dance and Burlesquesize are right up my alley!
The next path led to the food vendors YUMMMMY! I loved that they had some variety in the food section. Greek, Italian, Jamaican and one of my favorite food groups, Mini Donuts! All I remember was smelling some sweet cinnamon sugar goodness and I lost all senses.
The final path led to the main attraction, a big open field and the Main Stage. On each side of the stage they had set up big canopies and rows of chairs for people to watch the show. I spoke with one of the spectators that looked pretty “serious” about being there and she told me that she comes every year, and every year it gets better. She said that the entertainment line up this year is one of the best she’s ever seen. The bands that we got to see were great. They played with soooo much energy even though it was still early and the crowds hadn’t reached them yet. They were very happy to be there and I was happy to see them.
So we reached the end of our day and slowly strolled back. Both kids fell asleep in car, which is always a sign of a great day.