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This past weekend, another local open-air market joined the ranks of Cleveland pop-up favorites. La Placita, organized by the Hispanic Business Center and a host of other organizations on the city's near westside, put the spotlight on Cleveland's Latino community and culture.
"'La Placita' just means a small plaza, and so for a lot of Latinos in town it's typical to have a plaza be the central point in a neighborhood or community — for young people, old people, culture, art, food, everything that involves Latino culture," Jenice Contreras, executive director of the Hispanic Business Center and Chamber of Commerce, said. "We wanted to bring a little of that into our community here."
The organizers hope to showcase the idea through a series of market events this summer. Perhaps, they said, there may be a more permanent placita in the future.
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Contreras and Negron-McDaniel at La Placita
The market series will feature farmers market selections, social services (including MetroHealth resources), musical performances and lots of local vendors. This past weekend, the array of wares for sale includes flowers, jewelry, clothing, perfume and other gifts. (The market being held on the day prior to Mother's Day brought in a particularly engaged shopping crowd.)
"We're extremely excited. This is the first visual event of what we hope will someday be La Villa Hispana," Lourdes Negron-McDaniel, director for inclusion and diversity at MetroHealth, said. "We're envisioning restaurants, bakeries, a permanent domino place — concrete tables so the elders can come and play our version of chess, if you will — handmade art, cultural arts institutions..."
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Future dates for La Placita include: June 13, July 11, Aug. 1, Sept. 12. The market runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.