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METAIRIE, La. — It’s easy to see why Que Pasa Fest draws such a big crowd.
Featuring food and music from countries all over Latin America, the free festival celebrates Hispanic culture like only Louisiana can.
And there are some foods you’ll only find at Que Pasa Fest, like Marc Vezy’s arepas.
“This is the only festival that I do the whole entire year,” Vezy said. “I don’t do any other festivals. I’m a contractor, but everybody thinks that I have a restaurant somewhere.”
Veyz’s arepas are crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside and come with a garlic sauce that gives a sharp contrast to the shredded meat inside. They’re a taste of his old home in Venezuela that he only shares once a year.
He’s been cooking them since the first Que Pasa Fest in 2011. By the size of the line in front of his stand, you can tell he’s built a reputation since then.
“If someone really wants to try Venezuelan food, they’ve got to come to Que Pasa Fest,” he said. “It’s the only place they’re going to find it.”
Que Pasa Fest has had plenty of success since then as well. The festival has always been in Lafrenier Park, but moved to the bigger area centered around the Concert Meadow stage.
The festival grew with Jefferson Parish’s Hispanic population – the largest in the state.
“We are just happy to be able to celebrate our Hispanic heritage here in Louisiana, here in Jefferson Parish,” festival organizer Brenda Melara said. “We hope we’ll be able to do it in future years. And I think we will because our community loves Jefferson Parish so we’re going to stay here.”
This year, there’s food and music from 16 different countries, according to Melara. Each representing a unique part of Latin America – and a unique part of Louisiana.
Que Pasa Fest reopens Sunday, Oct. 9, at 11 a.m. at Lafreniere Park. It’s free and open to the public.
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