The Scene: Celebrate culture, cuisine at annual Latino fest is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

The dances, cultures and food of Latin American countries will be celebrated Saturday and Sunday at Ogden Park. Courtesy photo.
The dances, cultures and food of Latin American countries will be celebrated Saturday and Sunday at Ogden Park. Courtesy photo.

The vibrant cultures and traditional cuisine of Latin America converge on the Port City this weekend.

The annual Festival Latino returns to Ogden Park from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Now in its 17th year, the event is a cross-cultural weekend of music, food, music and dancing from countries such as Mexico, Brazil, El Salvador, Honduras and Columbia. A “Kid’s Fiesta” station will offer up hourly games like the “Great Mexican Hat Race,” as well as inflatable rides and laser tag.

“The daylong celebration will give residents the opportunity to share in the diverse Latino cultures of the Cape Fear region,” organizer Lucy Vasquez said. “It’s an opportunity for people with different languages and backgrounds to enjoy each other’s company, as well as their differences.”

Vasquez expects more than 20,000 people to attend the festivities.

“Together our community can embrace the beauty of cultural diversity by sharing laughs, language and stories,” Vasquez noted.

Admission to the festival is free.

Looking for even more culture? Or just want to have a few chuckles? Whether it’s soulful live music, gourmet food or some hearty belly laughs you’re after, we’ve got you covered in our weekly arts and entertainment roundup.

The items listed below, as well as many other happenings in the area, can be found on The Scene, where it’s always free to post and peruse the latest events.


Flytrap Brewing presents a free live show from Heather Rogers at 8 p.m. tonight (Friday). T’Geaux Boys Food Truck will serve up New Orleans-style food from 7 to 11. On Friday, singer/songwriter Ashton Stanley performs at 8 p.m. and Pepe’s Taco Truck will be onsite with Mexican fare from 7 to 11. Folk rock band Driskill, with special guest Chris Frisina, performs at 8 p.m. Saturday. Catch the Food Truck will be serving local street food from 7 to 10.

The Juggling Gypsy hosts “Fire and Drums” at 8 p.m. each Thursday night. The event is a meet-up of fire dancers and area drummers, with deejays spinning tunes beginning at 10 p.m. Participants are welcome to bring their percussion instruments and fire and juggling toys. A Tarot card reader will be on hand between 6 and 10 p.m. Admission is free.

Herbie D and the Dangermen bring their unique mix of upbeat Americana and Appalachian and New Orleans blues to The Juggling Gypsy Friday. The free show gets underway at 8 p.m.

Ashton Stanley performs a free show at Flytrap Brewing Friday.
Ashton Stanley performs a free show at Flytrap Brewing Friday.

Wilmington-based trio Josh Lewis and The Smoke Dodgers performs at 9 p.m. Friday at Bombers Bev Co. Admission is free.

The Rusty Nail hosts the Cape Fear Blues Challenge beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday. This one-of-a-kind music event features bands and solo acts competing for a chance to perform at the 2016 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee. Judges score on stage presence, blues content and talent, among other qualities. Admission is free. The First Saturday Blues Jam will follow the contest.

Legendary folk icon John Prine comes to Cape Fear Community College’s Humanities and Fine Arts Center Saturday. Chris Smither is the opening act. The show gets underway at 8 p.m. Tickets are $50-$95.


TheatreNOW presents the Changing Channels Comedy Weekend at 8 p.m. tonight through Saturday. The festival celebrates the well-known local improv troupe of the same name. Admission is $12 per show or $32 for all three nights.

Matt Braunger brings his stand-up to Dead Crow Comedy Room this weekend. Braunger, who currently has a special on Netflix, had a recurring role on NBC’s “Up All Night.” He will perform at 7 and 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $17-$20.


Detour Deli and Café hosts Film Noir Thursdays from 8 to 10 p.m. each week. Tonight’s film is the thriller, “They Live By Night,” starring Cathy O’Donnell. Admission is free.


Cape Fear Museum hosts an opening reception for the exhibit, “For All the World to See,” at 2 p.m. Sunday. Through a compelling mix of photos, TV clips, posters and historic artifacts, this immersive exhibit traces how images and media disseminated to the American public transformed the modern Civil Rights movement. Jerri Holliday will perform live music and there will be activities for children. Refreshments will be served. Admission is free.

Hilary Snow is a reporter at Port City Daily. Reach her at