In the wake of national events, the Hispanic Heritage Council of Texoma will offer Texomans an opportunity to celebrate Hispanic cultures. The Hispanic Heritage Festival will be held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday on the Sherman Municipal Building Lawn at 220 W. Mulberry St.

This is the 20th anniversary for the annual Hispanic heritage event.

“This year we decided to have a different schedule for the event,” organizer Henry Marroquin said. “The temperature during the day is too hot and we kind of wanted to make this like a Hot Summer Nights event.”

Along with several bounce houses, the Hispanic Heritage Festival will also include a live Mariachi band and other music. There will be vendor booths with food and information about area businesses.

“There will be food from different Hispanic countries including El Salvador, Mexico and America,” Marroquin said. “There will be a dental booth and a local lawyer will have a booth.”

Sherman Mayor David Plyer will be speaking at the festival, along with Sherman Police Chief Zachary Flores.

“We want the police chief to speak because nowadays people are very fearful of police,” Marroquin said. “Our chief is Mexican American and we want people to know that they can trust police. We are a big melting pot.”

In the past, Marroquin said, 5,000 to 10,000 people have attended the festival.

“Everybody talks about the food at Hispanic Heritage,” he said. “The food at this event is stuff that you will not find in area restaurants.”

The festival began as a way to raise funds for college scholarships for Hispanic students. Marroquin said they have since incorporated a Hispanic heritage queen into the festivities.

“We want to remind people of their heritage,” he said. “In different generations, people tend to lose bits of their heritage. We want people to know about and celebrate Hispanic heritages.”

A great way to do that, Marroquin said, is to educate people about food, music and other things that are unique to Hispanic cultures.

“When people think about Mexican food, they generally think about tacos and enchiladas,” he said. “I am from El Salvador so we have pupusas. Those from Honduras have their own foods. Those from Guatemala and Argentina celebrate with different foods too.”

Marroquin said that music is different from country to country as well.

“To me Mexican music is a little more country,” he said. “When you go further south, you get into the salsa music and Mariachi music. Each country also has a different accent.”

Marroquin said that while this is a Hispanic heritage festival, it is not just for Latinos. This is for people of all backgrounds, he said.

“Come taste a bit of the culture,” Marroquin said. “You will enjoy it. Try the foods. There is no bad food at the festival and the entertainment is great. We also have some local talent performing so bring the kids.”