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Latino heritage celebrated at Pasadena parade and fair

October 3, 2009 |  4:41 pm

Sonia Romero wants her two children to know their Latino background.

That's why the 21-year-old brought her family today to the 11th annual Latino Heritage parade and community fair, at La Pintoresca Park in Pasadena.

The fair and parade featured more than 500 marchers. At the park, performances ranged from Brazilian samba to Mexican folklorico dancers clad in orange and blue dresses. "It's something different," said Romero, who is originally from Mexico City but grew up in Pasadena. "It reminds us of home."

The festival is like a giant family party, and a great opportunity for people to celebrate Latino heritage in Pasadena, said Roberta Martínez, the executive director of Latino Heritage, a group that promotes Latino history, art and culture in Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley.

Martínez said for the first 15 years she lived in Pasadena she didn't realize there was a significant Latino population there. The city is now more than 30% Latino.

"The people who come to this event look like the makeup of the city," said Martínez, who has lived in Pasadena for 25 years. She estimated that between 1,000 and 1,200 people attended the fair and parade this year.

"It was so much fun," she said.

-- Nicole Santa Cruz in Pasadena

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