September 8, By Tara Law
A celebration of food and culture spanning the Americas and Asia is coming back to Jackson Heights for the sixth year running.
The 82nd Street Alliance is hosting the annual Viva la Comida festival on September 16th, with food representing countries in North, Central, and South America as well as Asia, and performances almost as diverse.
The event will run from noon to 7 p.m. along 82nd Street, between Roosevelt and Baxter Avenues. Organizers expect 2,000 people to turn out over the course of the day.
“The festival is a celebration of Queens,” said 82nd Street Partnership Executive Director Leslie Ramos about the event. “The festival celebrates and represents the day-to-day culture of each country: food, music, and art.”
At least 14 food vendors, including favorites such as the Arepa Lady, D’Angelo’s Sausage and Peppers, Mom’s Momos, and Ricas Botanas, will be attending.
Several Queens-based restaurants will also be represented, such as Casa Rivera, Delicias Colombianas, Mama Empanada and M to N Buffet.
This year’s festival will also place a heavy emphasis on music and art.
Los Hacheros is scheduled to perform their mix of Afro-Cuban salsa, Puerto Rican Bomba and jazz. Other bands include Chia’s Dance Party, Ed & Ben Polcer Swingtet, and Gregorio Uribe & Solange.
This year, Centro Cultural Barco de Papel is hosting a literature garden. Festival goers are also invited to build cardboard books, contribute to the community book sculpture, and view books from Latin American Artists.
Another highlight will be a puppet show by Paul Vandecarr of Firefly and a puppet making workshop.