First Amigo Fest scheduled for Saturday at UCA

By Tammy Keith Published October 5, 2017 at 12:00 a.m.
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CONWAY — The University of Central Arkansas in Conway will host its first Amigo Fest, featuring everything from authentic Mexican food to Zumba, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the Student Center courtyard.

The free, family-friendly event celebrates Latino culture and is open to the public, said Michelle Kepke, office manager for the university’s Hispanic/Latino Outreach Initiative in the Office of Institutional Diversity. The new festival is one of several initiatives of the office.

Events include free health screenings of glucose, blood pressure, cholesterol and weight. Student nurses and employees of the Student Health Center will provide the screenings, Kepke said.

She said attendees who participate in the screenings will receive a free healthy snack and a portion plate.

Live music will be provided by Jacob Flores, a former contestant on American Idol and The Voice, as well as Mariachi America Arkansas and the Yumare Mexican Folkloric Dancers of Oklahoma.

Kepke said Flores performed at the Latino graduation in the spring, too.

UCA junior Frida Lopez, treasurer for the Latino Student Organization, said that group is a sponsor of the event, too.

“It’s just a great way to get the Hispanic community together,” she said. However, she emphasized that “it’s for everybody.”

Lopez said the health screenings are an important aspect of the festival, but she is most excited about Flores performing on campus again.

The festival will include a children’s area with bounce houses and games.

Kepke said Zumba will be held between musical performances, “and we’re hoping for people to participate.”

The festival celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, as well as brings the community to campus, Kepke said. The rain location is Old Main.

“Come out and eat, and have fun with the kids,” she said.

Senior writer Tammy Keith can be reached at (501) 327-0370 or

Niche Publications Senior Writer Tammy Keith can be reached at 501-327-0370 or