Two DeKalb County cities are joining to fund a series of events to celebrate Hispanic and Latin heritage in their communities.
Placita Latina 2021, which will consist of four events, will take place in Avondale Estates and Decatur over the course of a month. Last week, Avondale Estates commissioners approved a budget up to $5,000 for two of the events to take place in their city.
The event is the brainchild of Adela Yelton, a former Avondale Estates commissioner, and Mayte “Maria” Peck, a chief operating officer for a consulting firm. They partnered with the Avondale Estates Welcoming Committee, which plans inclusive events for the city.
During an Aug. 11 meeting, Yelton told her former commissioner colleagues that the Latin community in the area are looking for more ways to celebrate and embrace their heritage.
“I don’t know if you know this about me personally, but I do identify as Latina,” Yelton said. “I’ve really come to embrace that part of my identity later in life, and I found that there are others in Avondale and Decatur that feel the same way. The idea of bringing the culture here to where we are and sharing that with our neighbors was really the impetus for Placita Latina.”
Two events will take place in Avondale Estates, while the other two will be in Decatur. Each city will fund its own half of the festivities.
The Avondale Estates Downtown Development Authority previously approved $3,000 worth of funds for the events, which was recently joined by the city’s contribution of up to $5,000 from its general fund. Decatur’s DDA contributed $5,000 and so did the city’s tourism bureau, Decatur DDA Executive Director Angela Threadgill told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“The event organizers of Placita Latina have invited local retail and restaurants to offer Latin-inspired products, food and drinks during the month-long celebration of planned events,” she said in an email. “We’ll have multiple reasons for visitors to return and explore these two Eastside communities.”
The events will take place between Sept. 15 and Oct. 15. For the Avondale Estates portion, Yelton pitched a coffee-tasting event with live music at Banjo Coffee and a market with music and performances at The Lost Druid. The Decatur events would include salsa on the Square and a Latin artist showcase in partnership with the Decatur Arts Alliance.
The organizers also said they’re talking to other local businesses about additional events, such as salsa lessons at Wild Heaven Beer or Latin American wine tasting at Purple Corkscrew. Yelton also mentioned this year’s Placita Latina serves as a pilot for a potentially larger scale celebration or festival next year if it’s successful.