Public invited to Hispanic Cultural Day at Oklahoma State Capitol on May 10
Oklahoma City – The Legislative Latino Caucus announced the 6th annual Hispanic Cultural Day will be held on May 10, and all are welcome and encouraged to attend. The event allows the Oklahoma Legislature, the Hispanic community, and the public to come together to celebrate Hispanic culture, history, entertainment, and food. Latino Caucus Chairman Sen. Michael Brooks, D-Oklahoma City, said he is looking forward to sharing the many contributions the Hispanic community makes in Oklahoma as well as celebrating and sharing their beautiful heritage and culture.
“I am so proud of my Hispanic heritage as are the other members of the Latino Caucus, which is why we look forward to this special event each year. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to hold it the last couple of years due to the pandemic, so we are very excited to welcome Oklahomans back to the Capitol to celebrate the incredible culture, history, music, and food of the Hispanic people,” Brooks said. “The Hispanic community is the fastest growing population in our state, contributing nearly $8 billion in state revenues to our economy thanks in part to the 20,000 Hispanic-owned businesses statewide. We are proud, hardworking Oklahomans dedicated to making our state a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family, and we’re so excited to celebrate and share our many contributions and beautiful culture with our fellow Oklahomans.”
This year’s event will highlight “Our Shared Indigenous Roots” and the connection between Latino indigenous roots and the Native American tribes in Oklahoma. Rock the Native Vote is sponsoring the advocacy portion of the event, encouraging guests to visit with legislators about issues of importance to them.
There will also be an exhibitor fair with booths set up by organizations that work with the Latino community. The fair will be sponsored by Oklahoma City Latino Young Professionals. A Youth Art Exhibit, sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council, will also be on display for guests to enjoy. Finally, the event will celebrate the Hispanic culture with food tastings and live performances made possible by the governor’s Hispanic Initiatives Council.
According to the 2020 U.S. Census, Oklahoma’s Hispanic community accounts for nearly 12% of the state’s overall population with nearly 472,000 people, an increase of nearly 140,000 Latinos since 2010.
Latino Caucus Vice-Chair Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, said Hispanic Cultural Day is important to give the community a voice and share all the positive things they are doing around the state.
“A lot of times, I don’t think the Hispanic community realizes how powerful they are and the incredible contributions that they make to the state of Oklahoma,” Martinez said. “Not only do we have thousands of business owners providing jobs and infusing money into our local communities, along with our large overall population of consumers, but the Hispanic community’s strong family values, faith, traditions, and hard work ethic are a welcomed positive influence in schools, businesses, cities, and towns around the state. This special day gives us an opportunity to recognize that shining example, and we hope our fellow Oklahomans will come share in the celebration.”
Oklahoma Historical Society Multicultural Office Director and current reigning Senora Guatemala Oklahoma Saidy Orellana is serving as this year’s master of ceremonies. Guests will also hear from keynote speaker Xavier Neira, who is the founder and President of Logatoré, LLC, a real estate development and consulting firm. Entertainment will include dances and songs from different Hispanic countries, including Mexico, Guatemala, Paraguay, Panama, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, and others.