The ¡Viva Perry! Latino Festival brought its annual abundance of food and fellowship to downtown Perry Saturday, with a diverse crowd of many hundreds enjoying the perfect weather in peace and friendship.
The annual event is sponsored by Hispanics United for Perry (HUP), and HUP President Rosa Gonzalez presented the 2019 HUP Outstanding Organization of the Year Award to the Dallas County Hospital in recognition of the hospital’s ongoing commitment to serving the Perry community.
DCH CEO Angela Mortoza accepted the award on behalf of the hospital, and she was joined by DCH Care Coordinator Jocelyn Monzon, DCH Nurse Lupita Chavez and DCH staff member Lorena Argueta. Gonzalez was accompanied by HUP members Mary Murphy, Marilyn Herrick and Jon Wolseth, with dog Diego, in the presentation of the award.
The ¡Viva Perry! Latino Festival is the primary fundraiser for HUP, with proceeds supporting scholarships for graduating seniors and continuing education. The festival has been a regular feature of Perry’s social and cultural life since 1993. In its early years, the event was held on or around Sept. 16 in order to mark Mexican Independence Day.
Among the attractions at this year’s festival were a petting zoo, dance troupes, many vendors of food and other merchandise and a dunk-tank fundraiser for the Perry High School prom.
“Hey! hey! maybe step up to the little kid’s line,” taunted Gary Iles, who volunteered for a turn in the dunk tank. Iles’ pleasantry was immediately paid off with a dunking, as he picked the wrong pitcher to taunt.
Activities continue until 8 p.m., with music by Los Mismos de Valle starting at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.