FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — For the final week of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Viva Ciclovia Street Fest will line Downtown Fort Walton Beach with live music and events.

Festival Details:

  • Saturday, Oct. 15
  • 12 pm- 8 pm
  • Block party style at Ferry Road and First Street
  • Afterparty held at Jake & Henry’s in Fort Walton Beach with more live music

Festival CEO Mercedes Feris said this is the second year she has been involved, taking the long-standing Hispanic Fest in town and adding a Columbia background.

“I really want people to learn and get a sense of our culture,” said Feris. “We’re so diverse. The Hispanic or the Latino community is very, very diverse. The best way that I could describe our culture is someone from Rhode Island or from New York to someone from South Texas, you know, very, very different.”

The street fest will feature live music, kids arts and crafts, and the biggest of all food. Feris said food is the best way to learn about a culture.

“We have a lot of different types of food and I truly believe the best way to really feel a culture is through food and dance,” said Feris. “So we’ll have a lot of dancing on stage.”

A full Quincenera background lesson is on the festival line-up, teaching about a long-time tradition celebrating the mark of womanhood when girls turn 15.

Feris said the festival pushes a health aspect needed in the Hispanic community with fitness classes and the Big Red Bus for a blood drive.

“I love doing community health events and wanted to tie in a health component to it since the Hispanic community has higher disparities of a lot of chronic diseases,” said Feris. “Come out and do a Zumbathon, or jump on a spin bike. If you just want to come out and dance and eat and enjoy, enjoy the day with your family. We’ll do that too. We’ll have a bike rodeo by the Fort Walton Beach Police Department. We’ll have some bike training classes and repairs if you want to fix your bike up and get ready for riding season.”

Free bike helmets will be provided to kids on site.

Those attending are asked to park at the City Hall, Liza Jackson Park, or the T-Mobile location at Uptown Station and walk or ride scooters down. The festival has a 50% off coupon code for Bird Scooters on Saturday: ‘Viva’.

Net proceeds from the street fest will benefit The Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast.

“This is not just for Latinos. This is for everyone,” said Feris. “I wanted to create something that was fun, educational, health forward, and just culturally forward.”

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