By Ricky Richardson, Contributing Writer

        (Hawthorne, Ca.)- The 2nd Annual World Fest 2022 Celebration made a triumphed return to the City of Hawthorne, Saturday, September 17, 2022, at Hawthorne Memorial Park, 3901 W. El Segundo Blvd. The event was held 10:00-6:00pm.

        The early hours of the fest were cloudy and overcast which kept the crowd comfortable. This was a welcome respite from the previous heatwave that we all want to forget.

        City Councilmember Alex Monteiro and Selena Acuna greeted early arrivals with warm welcome remarks. Councilmember Alex Monteiro thanked the World Fest Planning Committee for their time, commitment and dedication in contributing to the success of the event.

        Councilmember Monteiro led the crowd in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Eaton Flores (HMSA) rendered a wonderful performance of the National Anthem on saxophone. 

        Megan, vocalist/guitarist from Centinela Bible Church was great as she performed a set of protest songs and other popular tunes from 60’s and 70’s.

        September 15th marked the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15, 2022, Unidos: Inclusivity for a Stronger Nation. Nationwide celebrations are taking place commemorating the histories, cultures, and contributions of Hispanic Americans, whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America, who have and continues to positively impact our communities, our nation and society. The countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua celebrated their Independence on September 15. Mexico celebrated their Independence Day on September 16th and Chile on September 18.  

        The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

        Mariachi Nuevo Generación under the direction of Rudy Navarro, entertained the crowd with a set of classic Mariachi music that had the crowd singing along throughout their set. W. H. S. (Westminster High School) Club de Español Mexico Folklore shared a program of folkloric dances to the delight of all in attendance.

        The sun came out in the afternoon. The weather brought out a large diverse crowd, twice as many from last year. The crowd consisted of local residents and neighboring communities, from all walks of life. A sense of UNITY, PEACE and LOVE could be experienced and felt throughout the grounds of the festival.

        Del Rey Community Jazz Band/L. A. Love Band took the crowd on a musical journey with some Samba from Brazil, upbeat 2nd Line rhythms of New Orleans, Reggae of Jamaica, and a dose of American funk.

        Some like it HOT! Musically that is. Conganas featuring Christin Moraga on percussion, Rene Camacho on bass, Fermin Sifontes on piano and Enzo Villaparades on trumpet performed a high energy set of Latin Jazz and Salsa.

        Cuban Combination is a local, popular Cuban music group. The band founded by Edgar Hernández cranked up the burners to deliver a set of contagious, infectious rhythms of Salsa to the delight of dancers on the dance floor.

        Demann in Demand back by popular demand for another crowd pleasing, show stopping set of original and cover tunes performed exceptionally well by Demann, Britt J, aka., Britt 11X “The Human Chandelier” from 100.9FM and the soulful styling of Amber Sauer of Season 14 of NBC’s The Voice.

        Fantasia Dance Ensemble featured a group of talented kids and teens showcasing some fantastic dance moves, jazz, hip-hop, ballet and tap to a soundtrack of pop tunes.

        Jerri Jheto Project is an awesome group of musicians performing unique and original songs. The band consists of Jerri Jheto on vocals, John Sun Lew on keyboards, George Greenwalt on guitar and Jonathan Chidinma Ihejeto on drums. They entertained the crowd with a set of up-tempo Afrobeats and Reggae. The group provided the perfect vibe to close out the 2nd Annual World Fest Celebration.

        In a statement from Hawthorne World Fest Committee, “participants were able to consume a cultural experience rich with music that soothes the soul, dances that make you want to move, vibrant, colorful costumes that burst with delight for the eyes, and mouthwatering cuisines bursting with flavors that will have you going back for seconds and taking home a plate for dinner.” The statement continues “this World Fest aims to produce an experience where cultures collide and create opportunities for all in attendance to learn more about how we can all support one another.”

        The City of Hawthorne 2nd World Fest Celebration was a huge success. This was a FREE, FUN, FAMILY-FRIENDLY event in a FESTIVE atmosphere. The 2nd Annual World Fest CELEBRATED our diversity and unity throughout the community. The City of Hawthorne through it various events throughout the year creates life time memories for all in attendance.