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Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off with Hola Hora Latina event

The nonprofit held its 21st annual kick-off celebration in downtown Knoxville on Wednesday, celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — For families from a variety of backgrounds, Wednesday was a reason to celebrate. It was the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, and a nonprofit organization hosted an event to give everyone a chance to celebrate their culture.

Hola Hora Latina held its 21st kickoff celebration in downtown Knoxville, signaling the start of a month of events highlighting the achievements and contributions of people with roots in Spain, Central America, South America and Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean.

"It's not about a skin color," said Claudia Cabellero, who works with Centro Hispano. "It's about a common history and a language that we share. So yeah, there's a great validation of what we already do every single day."

Hola Hora Latina aims to unite the community through art and culture, and Wednesday's event was meant to do just that. Food from across the world was available, and speakers presented about Hispanic cultures.

"Today we have Latinos, whether they're indigenous Latinos, or Afro Latinos, there are White Latinos and then we have our Back community with us today," said Cabellero.

Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon also appeared, proclaiming Sept. 15 as the start date for Hispanic Heritage Month in the city.

"In the Latino community in Knoxville, there are lots of things to be proud of," said Cabellero. "It's a celebration of our culture, of our heritage, of the diversity that we bring and the richness in our cultures."

The events will continue for a month, and Hola Hora Latina plans to host its 21st annual festival on the World's Fair Park lawn. It will be held on Sept. 25 and Sept. 26.