1st Dominican cultural festival being held Saturday in Cleveland

Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 6:12 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Cleveland Dominican Club is set to host the city’s first Dominican cultural festival this Saturday at the Estabrook Recreation Center.

“It’s like a dream,” said Luis Mayans. He’s lived in Cleveland for over 20 years and will help organize the event.

The festival will run from 12 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Old Brooklyn neighborhood.

The Dominican Club has only been in existence for a few months, but that isn’t stopping them form working with city officials to make the festival a reality. Dominicans have called Cleveland home for decades, including Dr. Shoghi Mclean, who moved to the city in 1998.

“A lot of the members in this club are people that arrived newly in Cleveland in the last 5 to 10 years,” he said, “and they’re trying to promote the Dominican culture, get the Dominicans united.”

The organizing team looks to completely transform Estabrook this weekend; they’re planning space for concerts, music, food dance and children’s activities.

“It’s going to be a complete transformation, to see everyone come out,” Dr. Mclean said.

Mayans adds the festival will also serve as a cultural primer for others in the community: “We are not only merengue and dance and bachata, we are great hard workers, happy people that bring energy to wherever we go.”

For some in the club, mission accomplished won’t be until Saturday night once the event is over. But Mayans says their success is already here.

“It’s so exciting for us as Dominicans to live in this moment in time,” he said.