PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The holiday season is in full swing and Saturday visitors at the Christmas Village in Center City were met with a traditional cultural celebration. The festive outdoor market is making sure even more Latino-owned businesses are represented this year.
The music group, Los Bomberos De La Calle, took over Love park with the Puerto Rican version of Christmas carols known as a "parranda."
The authentic percussion music led to dancing both in the audience and inside the kitchen while many filled up on the traditional fried treat pastelillos.
"We wanted to bring our culture to Love Park to show people that this is fun, we like to have a good time," Rafael Álvarez Febo from Esperanza said.
The festivities are highlighting the new Latino-owned businesses being featured this year inside the Christmas Village ranging from food vendors like Amy's Pastelillos and the welcome center offering crafts from Latin America.
"We want to bring a little bit from Latin America to Philadelphia and the people can feel a little warmer this season." Aurora Zacarias from the Welcome Center said.
It's an opportunity that business owners say they wouldn't have had if it wasn't for a grant program through the Department of Commerce that's allowing businesses to use three kiosks on a rotating basis.
"There's a financial barrier to getting a booth," Febo said.
And that barrier is why nonprofits like Esperanza curated a group of emerging entrepreneurs to give them a platform.
"They have this great opportunity to make great profits, make great connections and be seen in Love Park, like the center stage of the city," Febo said.
Even though the Christmas Village is a German organization they say representing all backgrounds has always been a focus throughout the years.
"That doesn't mean we only have European vendors. We want this to be international. We want everyone to have a place here," Claire Kunovic, the Christmas Village Social Media Manager said.
A place where all sorts of Christmas traditions are celebrated.
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