Harold Velazquez performing for the Spring Latin Fest. Maxwell Shaffer/Augusta Good News
Harold Velazquez performing for the Spring Latin Fest. Maxwell Shaffer/Augusta Good News

Back-to-back events held March 25 at Augusta Common

Featured photo Harold Velazquez performing for the Spring Latin Fest. Maxwell Shaffer/Augusta Good News

The Augusta Common was the site of back-to-back events March 25 with both the March for Jesus and Spring Latin Fest taking place.

“The city actually double booked us, but it worked out because we knew people from the Spanish festival and they knew us,” said Chris James, an organizer of March for Jesus, “We are all working together on this because when you make a declaration on your city — that your city is about Jesus — it sets this place up for success.”

More than 100 people marched and praised to worship songs as well as listened to the many individuals share their testimonies. Vendors around the commons sold food, treats and some merchandise.

Towards the end of the march, it began raining but that didn’t stop people from staying and listening to worship music.

“This event went amazing even with the rain. It is always so special to see hundreds of people gathering in a place in your city to praise God,” James said. “I think it’s just also special when your community says they are calling for rain, but even if it does we are still going to praise Jesus.”

Chris James at March for Jesus. Maxwell Shaffer/Augusta Good News

The Spring Latin Fest followed after the march, and it was greeted with on and off rain showers for two hours. That didn’t deter people though. They stayed under tents and listened to Hispanic music while enjoying some food from the vendors in attendance.

In the midafternoon the rain finally cleared, and the crowds began to come out and enjoy the great sights and smells of the Spring Latin Fest. The Latin fest also offered some great music from very popular Hispanic artists who performed all day during the event. Josue Concepcion, a.k.a Swaizy, a 21-year-old rapper who now resides in Augusta shares what performing at this event means to him.

“It means a lot to not only bring my clothes that embody the message and the faith that I have but also to be able to perform in front of my friends and family,” said Swaizy, “This is my either second or third time here performing, but I have been coming here since I was a little kid, so being able to perform here is always so cool.”

Vendors represented countries such as Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela and Cuba.

“I feel gratitude to God because without him this whole event wouldn’t have been able to take place,” said Angel Maestre, pastor at Oasis VIP Multicultural. “I am so thankful to my team for helping me put on such a great event and pushing through all the long nights with limited sleep.”

Maestre said more events are planned.

“We are determined to have at least three events in the city with this kind of flavor of family, flavor, food, color, celebration, faith, and fellowship,” said Maestre, “Hope and faith in our community will allow us to develop a dream that God has given us and show us  that nobody can stop us and we believe that we can share that with this community.

Maxwell Shaffer is an Augusta University student and a correspondent for Augusta Good News.

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