The Latin Salsa Festival in Pershing Square was hot

— Story and photos by Ricky Ricardo —

Anthony Garcia and friend dancing at Pershing Square

This past weekend salsa of all forms returned to Downtown Los Angeles, meaning both salsa tastings and a lot of dancing, during the Latin Salsa Festival at Pershing Square. Along with edible salsa, there was a lot of salsa music, plus live dance performances and lessons. Each day of the festival featured three live music acts, and there was a beer and margarita bar for attendees to indulge in an adult beverage or two.

The phrase “hot, sizzling salsa” took on a whole new meaning over the weekend. If you were born in the Caribbean, and, let’s face it, if you were born in Southern California, you can relate to the “tropical heatwave” we were experiencing. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it was HOT! Temperature wise, music wise, and food wise, as some of the hottest, spiciest salsa samples were offered. As they say, “some like it hot.”

The festival had six of Los Angeles’ hottest salsa bands, which provided a smorgasbord of contagious and infectious Latin rhythms for all takers, both Southern California salseros and everyone else in attendance.

DJ Charlie Antillon

On Saturday, July 7th, DJ Charlie Antillon returned as Master of Ceremony and manned the ones and twos to provide a sizzling soundtrack of Salsa tunes between acts. Rigoberto Lopez y Talla Xtra, Invasion Latina, and Fabian Otero and the West Coast Salsa Orchestra performed live to keep everyone dancing  until 8 pm. Salsa dance champion Christian Oviedo presented an engaging Salsa dance lesson and showcased some of his students, Montunos Dancers, to the delight of the crowd.

The festival continued Sunday with performances by the Arsenio Rodriguez Project, Guicho y La Tribu, and Boogaloo Assassins.

The pictures below were taking Saturday, July 7. Enjoy!