500 Free Backpacks On Hand at Festival de La Familia This Saturday

TAPinto.net — August 23, 2018


NEWARK, NJ — Up to 500 children will get a free backpack filled with school supplies at the 11th Annual Festival de la Familia this Saturday.

Ecuadorian, Peruvian, Puerto Rican and African music and dance performances will fill the road on Broadway between Bloomfield Place and Broad Street this Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Carnival games, street performers, crafts and more will also be on hand.

"The Festival de la Familia has become one of Newark's most important celebrations of its diversity and strength, showcasing the talent, culture, and energy of our Latino community to our entire city," Mayor Ras Baraka said in a statement. "I am pleased that so many people and organizations from throughout our city come together annually for this festival."

The backpacks will help students prepare for the new school year, which begins on Sept. 4. Families must complete a brief survey prior to receiving a backpack and the child must also be present.

The backpack and school supply donations were made possible by a campaign from La Casa de Don Pedro, an organization that serves the Puerto Rican and Latino community throughout Essex County.

"We are grateful to the City of Newark for their partnership, the event sponsors, community partners, and backpack donors who make this event possible," said La Casa de Don Pedro Program & Fund Director Carrie Puglisi in a statement.

Backpack donors included the City of Newark, Valley National Bank, PSE&G, Office Depot, Capacity Benefits & Financial Services, Network Digital, Brick City Bricks 4 Kidz, KIPP NJ, Roberto Clemente Elementary School, and the Roldan and Melendez families.

Performers will include San Jose de Newark Ecuadorian Dancers, Yahaya Kamate Drummers, Ruben Figueroa and Conjunto Ritmo Tropical and Crespita Entertainment.

The Newark Fire Department, Focus Hispanic Center for Community Development, Newark Public Library, Abbott Leadership Institute, New Jersey Citizen Action, Girl Scouts Heart of America and North Star Academy will also be on hand.

Retired Newark Police Detective Genaro Ortiz will also make a special appearance dressed as Batman to teach people about safety.

The sponsors of this year's festival are Valley National Bank, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., M&T Bank, PSEG, Prudential Financial, TD Bank, Horizon NJ Health, Rutgers University- Newark, Capacity Benefits & Financial Services, KIPP NJ, The New Jersey Performing Arts Center and the Lower Broadway Neighborhood Association.

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