Oklahomans will be treated to exhibits of art, music, dance, and food tastings this Wednesday, May 1, as part of a celebration marking the third annual Hispanic Cultural Day at the state Capitol. The event, which will be held in the fourth floor rotunda, will celebrate Oklahoma’s Hispanic influences that began in the 1500’s and continue today.
Resolutions proclaiming May 1, 2019, as Hispanic Cultural Day will be heard in both chambers as part of the event, which is being organized by legislators from both chambers and the Secretary of State’s Office of Protocol. Senate hosts include Democratic Leader Kay Floyd, D-Oklahoma City, Sen. Michael Brooks, D-Oklahoma City, Sen. Julia Kirt, D-Oklahoma City, and Sen. Joe Newhouse, R-Broken Arrow. Hosts from the House of Representatives include Rep. Shane Stone, D-Oklahoma City, Rep. Mickey Dollens, D-Oklahoma City, Rep. John Waldron, D-Tulsa, Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, and Rep. Charles Ortega, R-Altus.
“We want to invite everyone to come to the Capitol and join us in this tremendous celebration of Hispanic music, art, food and more,” Brooks said. “Hispanics make up ten percent of our state’s population, own more than 10,000 businesses and have buying power approaching $8 billion annually. This is a great opportunity for our citizens of Hispanic heritage to get to know members of the Legislature, and to educate the elected officials and members of the public about the many ways our state benefits from their cultural and economic contributions.”
The event, which takes place from noon to 4 p.m. this Wednesday, will include food tastings from Columbia, Peru and Mexico and will feature a youth art exhibit, music and dance performances from various Latin American countries as well as an exhibitor fair.
“We’re thrilled to be hosting this event. Like the United States, Oklahoma was built by many peoples. Their unique histories and cultures add so much to our state,” Floyd said. “This is a celebration of Hispanic-American culture that enriches us all in many ways.”
“I’m proud to see the annual celebration of Hispanic culture at the Capitol,” Stone said. “Oklahoma has been blessed by the inclusion of Hispanic families, businesses and organizations, which continuously provide time-honored traditions, family values, rich culture, and also economic benefit to our state. Hispanic Cultural Day is a day to honor all of those contributions and also remind the Hispanic community that the Capitol belongs to them just as it does to all Oklahomans.”
Other elected officials invited to attend the celebrations include Governor Kevin Stitt, Secretary of State Michael Rogers, Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt and Congresswoman Kendra Horn.
“Hispanic Cultural Day is one of my favorite days at the Capitol,” Dollens said. “Oklahoma is becoming a more diverse state both demographically and culturally, and the Hispanic community, maybe more than any other community, has played a huge role in that positive growth.”