The traditional Mexican folkloric dance team from the first festival in 2016.

People of all ages and backgrounds can catch a glimpse of the Hispanic and Mexican cultures during the upcoming Second Annual Festival Caliente on Saturday, September 14 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at E.G. Simmons Park in Ruskin. Those who attend will get an opportunity to taste a wide variety of food items from several places, such as El Indio Tacos and Quiero Mas Tacos, just to name a few.

In addition, attendees will see live performances from Latin artist Joe Zuniga (AKA “Mr. Tampa”), Folklorico Sones De Mexico, Grupo Guerra Paz, Mariachi Loco and many more, along with other activities as well. DJ Moyo will also be the master of ceremonies.

When the event first became established in 2016, it had nearly 2,000 in attendance. This year, it expects to exceed that amount. All of the proceeds will go towards the Ruskin Community Development Foundation as it assists with the development and improvement of the SouthShore community.

The Ruskin Community Development Foundation began operating in 1994 by the Ruskin Chamber of Commerce. Since its opening, millions of dollars have been contributed to the community through partnerships with universities, the local government and more.

The Ruskin Community Development Foundation event organizer, the RCDF Representative, mentioned the reasoning behind it, “The festival celebrates Hispanic Heritage and Mexican Independence Day.”

It costs $2 per vehicle to enter inside E.G. Simmons Park, but prices will vary in order to gain access to the festival. First responders, military and teachers will get in for free. Those under the age of 13 also do not need to pay for their festival entry. Festival Caliente also needs more sponsors, vendors and volunteers. Students in middle school and up can receive community service hours.

The admission price is $10 pre-sale online on Eventbrite or $15 at the gate on the day of the event.

Zuniga shared his thoughts about what he hopes attendees will grasp from the event.

“I want them to have fun with their family and understand the richness of our culture,” Zuniga said.

For more information about becoming a sponsor, email festivalcalienteinfo@gmail.com. To become a vendor, email festivalcalientevendor@gmail.com. E.G. Simmons Park is located at 2401 19th Ave. N.W. in Ruskin. Visit the Festival Caliente’s Facebook page for updates.