Tropicante’s lively concerts are sprinkled with first-rate musicianship, anecdotes and humor.

Live music will be an exciting addition to the second annual Fiesta Hispana presented by the Hispanic Community Advisory Committee of Batesville Saturday, Sept. 21.

The popular event from 3-8 p.m. at the Liberty Park Pavilion will celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month.

The Batesville Area Arts Council is presenting two bands from Iowa that will spice up the celebration by showcasing the diverse range of musical styles in Latin America.

Trio de Colores, a three-person mariachi band, will play melodies in the distinctive musical style that dates back to at least the 18th century in various regions of western Mexico. The four-person Tropicante will have attendees swinging and clapping to the upbeat Colombian cumbia, Dominican merengue, Venezuelan tambor and Brazilian samba.

Arts council President Leon Enneking says, “We are excited to offer some additional support to another organization and saw this as an opportunity to expand the community’s cultural awareness, which is a primary goal of the BAAC.”

HCAC President Jodi Alexander observes, “The inaugural Fiesta Hispana brought a huge crowd out to celebrate the Hispanic heritage shared by so many in our area. This year we’re expecting even more people for what has turned out to be a wonderful event for all.”

Authentic food will be cooked on site. “We’re going to expand the menu a bit this year,” reports Alexander. In addition to several kinds of tamales, a choices of tacos – pollo (chicken) adobado, steak and carnitas – are among the foods that will be available for minimal cash donations.

Duritos (crunchy fried puffed wheat snacks that are different than Doritos), nachos and four different salsas will be offered. Desserts will include cheesecake and tres leches (milk) cake. Traditional drinks will also be sold: fresh watermelon, horchata (a milky drink) and hibiscus (a drink infused with dried hibiscus flowers).

Attendees are welcome to bring their own alcoholic drinks.

Kids’ activities will range from piñatas and a bouncy house to Jenga and other giant yard games manned by Mayor’s Youth Council members. Children can also create chalk drawings on sidewalks and play with bubbles donated by committee members.

Food, drinks and games can be purchased with cash only.

To add to the fiesta atmosphere, Spanish students at St. Louis School and Batesville and Lawrenceburg high schools have made all of the decorations.

The event is being organized by HCAC members plus more volunteers.

Alexander, whose dad is of Mexican heritage, is searching for more workers. She needs help with kids’ activities, serving food and cleaning tables. Volunteers may contact her at 812-932-1030 or; or search for Hispanic Community Advisory Committee on Facebook.

Proceeds will benefit the HCAC scholarship program for graduating southeast Indiana seniors who are either Latino or planning to major in a foreign language, and English as a Second Language classes (please see box).

Area folks should get this party on their calendars because “it’s the only event like this in the area, really,” the HCAC leader points out. “It’s a unique opportunity to be a part of a cultural event and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with other members of the community. It’s just worked out perfectly that BAAC wanted to partner with the music. I think that’s just going to add a whole other element to the event.” One more bonus: “The food is amazing!”

Debbie Blank can be contacted at or 812-717-3113.

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