Volunteers needed for Fiestas Patrias
By Stephanie Lulay email@example.com August 22, 2013 5:12PM
Ballet Folklorico opened up Fiestas Patrias with a dazzling dance routine on Saturday, September 15, 2012 in Aurora IL. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 24, 2013 6:36AM
AURORA — The Aurora Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is in “urgent” need of more than 100 volunteers by Aug. 31 in order to stage this year’s Fiestas Patrias.
The Sept. 14-15 festival that celebrates Mexican Independence Day will be staged for the first time at RiverEdge Park in downtown Aurora. The Fiestas Patrias parade is scheduled to kick off at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 1,5 at Benton and Water streets.
Cynthia Gamboa, a member of the Hispanic Chamber’s board of directors, said she took over volunteer recruitment this week after other efforts fell through. The Chamber is expecting more than 20,000 attendees over the Fiestas Patrias weekend, she said Thursday.
“We need volunteers for everything,” Gamboa said. “We’re working with local agencies and colleges to get volunteers, but we need more.”
Volunteers are asked to work four-, six- or eight-hour shifts between the hours of 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Sunday.
Volunteers must be at least high-school aged and will be assigned minimal tasks, Gamboa said, like crowd control, selling soda and water, staffing the information booth and clean up.
Volunteers must attend a volunteer training session on Friday, Sept. 6, from 7 to 8 p.m at the Hispanic Chamber offices at 605 N. Broadway. Volunteers will receive a T-shirt and and a drink voucher.
The annual festival showcases international music acts, food vendors and a children’s amusement park. Genres of music performed this year will include Banda, Mariachi, Cumbia, Tejano, Norteno and rock.
The festival entry fee is $2 for adults and $1 for children. Kids under 3 years old or those over 65 get in free.
The event is sponsored by the Aurora Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Aurora Hispanic Heritage Advisory Board.
For more information, call the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce at 630-264-2422, visit the Aurora Hispanic Chamber or e-mail Gamboa at firstname.lastname@example.org.