Carmen Pratt, from the live Spanish show "La Onda Latina" on KTWA radio in Ottumwa, will be introducing Los Lobos and other groups in Spanish Friday beginning at 4:30 p.m.
"It is a great honor to be able to introduce Los Lobos, a band that not only are talented but also have struggled with our immersion of cultures," Pratt said. "They have the ability to connect two languages and get all diversity of people to dance and sing to their music. Charanga Tropical are amazing from all the instruments they use to all the cultures that are in the band. From the videos I have seen of them on YouTube, I am certainly excited to see them perform live."
The emphasis on preserving Spanish in America is an important issue for Pratt.
"I believe it is very important to hold on to your roots, no matter where you come from, and teach your children and grandchildren about them, but it is also important to assimilate to your surroundings and learn from the locals so we can all feel comfortable to share our heritage," she said.
FAIRfest is in its second year, and organizers say it is now promised to be an annual event the third weekend in June.
Complete indoor and outdoor lineups, beverage garden hours, lodging options and literary, art and sustainability events surrounding the festival can be found at fairfestiowa.com.
Preceding a performance by New Orleans style jazz band Rebirth, FAIRfest will be host to a Mardi Gras style parade in which public participation is invited. Come as you are or in Mardi Gras flair, with or without an instrument of your own choosing, or just be prepared to fall in behind Rebirth Brass Band as they form a parade line at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center, 200 N. Main St., at 8:30 p.m. at the end of world music performers Bambu, marking their 20th year. With their brass instruments in hand, Rebirth Brass Band will lead a public parade around the Fairfield square back to the 40-foot FAIRfest main stage at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center at 9 p.m. Next in line behind Rebirth in the Mardi Gras parade will be Fairfield's own burlesque group, Fiesty Club Burlesque Troupe in family friendly attire, Iowa's City Dana T. Brown horns and members the local Fairfield All-Star Big Band.