Angely Mercado

Last Sunday’s CalabazaFest was a colorful display of the different cultures that reside in Bushwick. 

Organized by Riseboro, the successful fall event has been going strong for almost a decade and it’s given community members a place to dance, dress up and try different food. 

Workers from Tony’s Pizzeria from Knickerbocker Avenue handed out stuffed mushrooms and quesadillas. Riseboro had stalls set up where they sold fresh produce, gave out ice cream and also let children carve or paint their pumpkins. 

Elected officials Antonio Reynoso and Maritza Davila attended the festivities. 

“I’m proud to be a partner in this in order to bring cultural events to our kids,” Reynoso told the crowd in Spanish. “I hope that we can keep doing this for many many more year, so that the community can continue to enjoy CalabazaFest.”  

The highlight of the festival were the many cultural performances. One of the first ones came with a mariachi performance and Mexican dancers. They sang classics like El Rey and encouraged the audience to dance.

A second group of performers did a traditional South American dance honoring La Pachamama, or Mother Earth. 

They danced with ribbons and wore colorful outfits and called out “viva La Pachamama!” 

The event continued into the afternoon with more music from Colombia’s northern coast and eventually a monarch butterfly dance. The group invited children onto the stage to dance with them and wave butterflies. 

CalabazaFest has been running for almost 10 years at Maria Hernandez Park. For more information on Riseboro and the events they host in the area, check out their website here. 

All photos by Angely Mercado

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