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Ivy Queen to Headline Newark's Latin Festival

originally published: 07/10/2024

Ivy Queen to Headline Newark

(NEWARK, NJ) -- Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Deputy Mayor for Community Engagement Jacqueline Quiles-Mercado, and the Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery (OVPTR) will host the Annual Latin Festival on Sunday, August 18, 2024 from noon to 10:00pm, on Bloomfield Avenue between Lake Street and Clifton Avenue, in Newark's North Ward.

The daylong celebration will be headlined by Ivy Queen, the "Queen of Reggaeton." A Puerto Rican native, Ivy Queen is a singer, songwriter, actress, podcast host, and pioneer of the Reggaeton genre. Her 2007 "Calle 13" album gained her a Latin Grammy Award for Best Urban Museum Album. She was nominated for another Latin Grammy in 2012 in the same category for her album "Musa." She was recently recognized by the prestigious Billboard magazine as "Icon of the Year," receiving recognition from her compatriot Bad Bunny.

Also performing will be Fernando Villalona, one of the greatest merengue singers in the genre's history. The Dominican native began his career in the early 1970s, and has recorded 24 albums. He participated in the Spanish recording of "We Are the World," along with superstars Shakira, Ricky Martin, and Enrique Iglesias.

"No one can deny - or ignore - the special energy that our Latino residents and business owners infuse into our city life," said Mayor Baraka. "For generations, they have combined their optimism, hope, and faith with their leadership, creativity and skill, to build strong families and communities, and enrich Newark on every level. It is a joy to celebrate their contributions to the greatness of our city, and to honor their achievements and success."

Representatives from Newark's OVPTR will distribute information, be available for conversation, and connect residents with resources for mental health, employment, relocation, and services for those who have been affected by crime and violence.

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"I am very excited to bring two singing legends to this year's Latin Festival, and share their enormous talents with a vast audience for free," said Deputy Mayor Quiles-Mercado. "It's also thrilling to introduce the amazing assortment of local musical artists who generate as much dynamic energy as the headliners. With all its vibrancy each year, this festival is a fantastic opportunity for our Latino residents to come together, celebrate their culture, enjoy great entertainment, and obtain valuable resources about services available to empower their lives."

"The Office of Violence Prevention and Trauma Recovery is always proud to sponsor this festival and celebrate how our Latino neighbors elevate our city in every way - from business and government, to education and the arts," said OVPTR Director Kyleesha Wingfield-Hill. "Because all of Newark benefits deeply from the Latino cultural devotion to family and community, this hugely popular event is the perfect venue to spread awareness about OVPTR services. Our office is here to help residents understand the causes and prevention of violence, and how to heal from it."

Coolers and pets are not permitted during the event. Riding bikes or scooters is also prohibited on site, but attendees are encouraged to arrive and depart using Newark Go, the city's scooter and bike share program. The rented ebikes and scooters can be left on Clifton and Bloomfield Avenues, near the Latin Festival. There will be additional car parking in Branch Brook Park.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or participating in the Latin Festival, please contact Deputy Mayor Quiles-Mercado at the Office of Community Engagement at 973-733-4310.



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