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The Isla Del Encanto Festival in the City of Bell

Several thousand people were in attendance for the festival to enjoy the stellar line-up of musicians, including Ray Sepulveda

By Ricky Ricardo
Published on LatinoLA: April 23, 2013


The Isla Del Encanto Festival in the City of Bell


Isla Del Encanto Festival is an annual gathering organized by The California Puerto Rican Parade and Festival. The festival celebrated and showcased the richness and vibrancy of Puerto Rican culture.

This wonderful gathering of Boricuas as well as others who enjoy salsa, bachata, cumbia and merenque to celebrate the culture of Puerto Rico with music, food and family. The festival took place at Treder Park in the City of Bell. The park and surrounding area served as the perfect setting on this beautiful, Southern California afternoon with a slight tropical breezes.

Festival attendees consisted of a melting pot of salseros from all across Southern California who are captivated by the contagious Latin rhythms that had everyone dancing to the tasty, hot Latin rhythms of salsa, bachata, cumbia and merenque provided by local and internationally known artists. Welcome remarks were delivered by Rebecca Diaz, President; Renata Medina, V.P of California Puerto Rican Parade and Festival; Violeta Alvarez, Mayor of Bell; and Anthony Miranda, Chief of Police for the City of Bell.

I had the pleasure of attending The Isla Del Encanto Festival on Sunday, April 21st, 2013, in the City of Bell. As mentioned before, the weather was pleasant on this sunny afternoon. Several generations of family members was in attendance, who were proudly adorned in clothing, jewelry, caps and other memorabilia of Puerto Rico.

When I arrived, the festival was already simmering as DJ Willie from Vasilios Night Club provided the sounds as people were entering the festival grounds as well as in between bands. Vasilios Night Club is located at 7931 East Firestone Blvd. (562)869-5733 for more information.

The Isla Del Encanto Festival benefited from advance media buzz from the regular outlets: newspapers, TV, radio and the impressive reach of Social media. Several thousand people were in attendance for the festival for the stellar line-up of musicians: Orquesta Tabaco Y Ron, Johnny Polanco Y Conjuncto Amistad, Don Jibaro Y Ray Carrion, Don Ivan, Chino Nu??ez, Martin Y Su Grupo Cache and Ray Sepulveda. Vendor booths showcase a variety of memorabilia,along with food and drinks for purchase.

The atmosphere and the music got hotter and hotter as the day progressed.The show got under way with a tight set by Don Jibaro Y Ray Carrion on the tunes "Lamento Boricano," "Seis Chorrea," "Ya Meo en Sol," "Valle de Collores." The Son Latino Dancers performed folkloric dances along with the group. Son Latino Dancers consisted of Carlos Ortiz, Ivania Mungia, Maria Luna and Susie Barajas.

Salsalicious is a young, talented group of dancers who has the honor and pleasure of performing at many of the popular Latin music festivals throughout the state.They are the future of salsa dancing.

Don Ivan is a U.S. Army veteran and is a welcomed addition to Latin music industry. He left an lasting impression on the crowd during his brief set of original tunes featuring "Boom," "Me Fascina," and "Puerto Rico."

Martin Y Su Grupo Cache turned up the throttle during his tight set of salsa, bachata and merenque to the delight of the salseros who crowded the dance floor throughout his set on "Candela," "Degame Sonar," "El Amor Que Perdimos," "Emergencia," and "Corazon sin Cara."

The crowd didn't get much of a break to sit down. Orquesta Tabaco Y Ron brought out additional dancers onto the dance floor and had people dancing throughout the festival grounds. Their incinerating set featured material from their package of three CD's that they were selling for a low price of $10.

Ricky Louis is another upcoming salsa vocalist to debut at the Isla Del Encanto Festival. This young man is deserving of greater recognition after he made a brief appearance to sing "La Clave," and "Loco Por Tu Amor."

The festival was turned up on high on all of the front burners during the fiery sets of the final two acts. Johnny Polanco Y Conjunto Amistad with special guest Chino Nu??ez providing some thunderous assistance on timbales. This aforementioned band also backed the headliner Ray Sepulveda (pictured) who brought the house down with a rousing finale playing material from his extensive catalog of danceable hits such as "No Vale La Pena," "Bandolera," "Mascarada," and "Margarita" with the crowd singing along to this famous hits.

The California Puerto Rican Parade and Festival is a non-profit organization founded in 1997. The founders work tirelessly to preserve the history and culture of Puerto Rico in California and to keep Puerto Rican heritage alive for future generations.

I have been aware of this organization and the many wonderful activities that they sponsored throughout the community.For the past thirteen years, the organization have brought countless smiles to the community by sponsoring various charitable events in the community. The organization is committed to helping families in need, promoting cultural diversity and educating children in the traditions of Puerto Rico.

The ultimate goal of The California Puerto Rican Parade and Festival is to build a cultural center that will provide a permanent residence to continue activities such as cultural classes. To help raise funds, the organization hold an annual festival for three days commemorating the feast day of San Juan Bautista in June. For more information contact the organization at (310) 549-1252 or (323) 369-5854, you can visit them online at www.caprparade.org or friend them on www.facebook.com/californiapuertoricanparadeandfestival

About Ricky Ricardo:
Ricky Ricardo is a Southern California based music reviewer,writer and photographer with an emphasis in Latin and World music.




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