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Taste of Latin America Canceled, but Brazil Fest Will Go On

 Fun-seekers attend last year's Brazil Fest in Logan Square.
Fun-seekers attend last year's Brazil Fest in Logan Square.
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Star Events

LOGAN SQUARE — The city brims with summertime fests but three outdoor parties in one weekend in one neighborhood? That might have been a lot to ask of fun seekers, especially when two of the gatherings have a Latin flair.

As it turns out, Logan Square residents won't have quite so many to choose from after all.

Nearly as soon as organizers of the Taste of Latin America started promoting the festival planned for Aug. 23 to Aug. 25 in the 3600 block of West Armitage Avenue, they announced it was canceled.

A spokesman for Special Events Management — the firm that was to put on the Taste of Latin America — said a number of issues contributed to the decision to cancel, but added that Brazil Fest happening on the same weekend may have been a factor.

"I can't help but think that was part of it," said Fred Newton, speaking for participating restaurants. "Having two fests in the same weekend, both with a South American, south-of-border feel is a lot for one neighborhood."

The Taste of Latin America was going to feature some Brazilian food and entertainment, along with samplings from other Latin American countries.

The Brazil Fest is being held the same weekend about a mile away at the Illinois Centennial Monument and will feature nothing but Brazilian food, music and a Carnaval-style parade.

Last year it was held as part of The Boulevard festival, but quickly outgrew it. This year, the two fests are separating "because Brazil Fest was so popular," said Derek Serafin, a spokesman for Star Events, the company putting on both the Brazil Fest and The Boulevard.

"They're two separate events essentially happening right next to each other,"  he said.

Serafin said organizers hope to make Brazil Fest the Midwestern counterpart to New York City's Brazilian Day Festival, which started in 1984 and now attracts nearly a million people.

As for the fact that it was scheduled for the same weekend as the Taste of Latin America, Serafin said, "I think it was just a coincidence."

More information about Brazil Fest and The Boulevard can be found on the Star Events website or on their respective Facebook pages.

Organizers for the Taste of Latin America meanwhile, hope to bring it back next year.