DELTONA — Balanced precariously on his tippy-toes, 3-year-old Jiovanni Garcia found a little solace from the sun while playing with brightly colored plastic ducks waiting to be plucked out of their wading pool by local children hoping for a prize.
The game, sponsored by Community Life Center in Deltona, was one of more than 30 booths offered by local area groups at the 11th Annual Deltona Spring Fest last weekend.
Saturday saw more than 1,500 festival-goers, and although inclement weather kept the crowds away on Sunday, organizer Peggy Fisher said the event was “a great success.”
“We’re All Neighbors In Deltona” is the theme of the event that aims to bring Deltona residents of many ethnic backgrounds together as a community, Fisher said.
Alive with the sights and sounds of eclectic entertainment, multicultural cuisine and a variety of activities to captivate young and old alike, the festival did just that.
“We wanted an event to showcase the diversity of our community,” Fisher said. “Using Deltona people, entertainers and food vendors is what makes this event so successful.”
William Fajardo, whose daughter was performing with the Central Florida Latino Youth Foundation, was impressed with what he saw.
“It’s important to do these types of things so that people can learn about each other’s cultures and try to understand each other better,” he said.
Face painting, make-and-take art and a variety of inflatable moon walks and slides caught the attention of children who ran from one activity to the next.
“I can’t believe all the different stuff that they have here!” said Melanie Rodriguez, 11, Deltona, as she sat for a caricature drawing with her sister.
With a myriad of displays by local organizations, handmade arts and crafts, a massage and reflexology exhibit as well as the addition of an author’s row, the festival offered a variety of activities to interest adults as well.
For Randy Penberg, here from Atlanta visiting friends, the food was the big star.
Tacos, pizza, boiled peanuts, and hot dogs were just a few of the menu choices, but the Jamaican patties were what caught Penberg’s eye.
“I wanted to try them just because I could see them. It sure beats having a hamburger,” he said as he waited for his lunch.
Live entertainment included Latin dance and a variety of musical performances including jazz and reggae.
Lloyd Marcus, the master of ceremonies, shared his love for Deltona with festival-goers when he sang an original piece titled simply, “The Deltona Song.”
“I love my hometown,” Marcus said, “Deltona is the town of Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream; blacks, Hispanics and whites living side by side.”