♥ Giannina Douglass, left, dances with a partner to the music of Sensacion Latina on Sunday at the annual Peruvian Festival at Longmont’s Sandstone Ranch Park.
» Giannina Douglass was born in Peru, migrating to the United States with her parents in the 1960s.
As an immigrant, she said, she’s grateful for the opportunities she’s found in the United States. But, she added, many people don’t realize that immigrants also must leave behind their traditions, culture and people.
“It can be lonely,” she said.
Douglass, who lives in Golden, said she attended Sunday’s Peruvian Festival at Sandstone Ranch Park in Longmont to connect with other Peruvians.
“It’s nice to unite in our pride in our country and our food and our traditions and our music,” she said.
The Longmont-based Peruvian Association of Northern Colorado hosted the annual festival, which also commemorated 200 years of Peru’s independence. Peru’s official Independence Day is July 28. The Longmont festival was started in 2000 to bring together the area’s Peruvian community and share customs and traditions, organizers said.
Fredy Melchor grills beef on Sunday at the annual Peruvian Festival at Longmont’s Sandstone Ranch Park.(Amy Bounds/Staff Writer)
Sunday’s festival featured traditional music and food, as well as a soccer tournament. Guitarist Versatil Musician performed Peru’s national anthem. Other performers included Sensacion Latina and Grupo Kaoba Mi Amor.
Crowd favorites from the food and drink vendors included ceviche, arroz con pollo (chicken with rice), lomo saltado (beef stir fry) and Peruvian grilled trout. There was also purple mazamorra, a Peruvian dessert made from concentrated purple corn and fruit that’s spiced with cinnamon and cloves.
Six-month-old Dahlia Huerta-Amaya watches the crowds with her parents, Warner Huerta and Nancy Amaya, on Sunday at the annual Peruvian Festival at Longmont’s Sandstone Ranch Park.(Amy Bounds/Staff Writer)
Warner Huerta, who lived in Peru until he was 6, brought his 6-month-old daughter, Dahlia Huerta-Amaya, to the festival. He said he wanted to try the food.
“Different people cook it differently,” he said.
Lucy and Angel Diaz, who live nearby, said they’re festival regulars.
“We’re Mexican, but we like the Peruvian food,” Luzy Diaz said. “The food is really good.”
Jessica Khadka, 13, lived in Peru as a toddler and was raised in a Peruvian household.
“I’m here to celebrate Peru,” she said. “Peru is awesome in every way.”
She attended with her parents, Yesenia and Jessie Khadka, who live in Centennial. One of their favorite dishes from the festival is leche de tigre, a ceviche-based beverage. Along with the food, Yesenia Khadka said, she loves the music and dancing.
“We have a lot of fun,” she said.