Culture   Sun, May 20, 2018 09:34 PM

Arlington, VA – Beautiful weather, enthusiastic crowds, matchless entertainment, and family fun came together for a wildly successful 31st Argentina Festival on Saturday, May 12 at the Kenmore Middle School auditorium in Arlington.

An additional surprise topped off this year’s celebration – the presence of Mario Kempes, the international soccer star who in 1978 won Argentina’s first World Cup title. He was awarded the Golden Ball for best player and was the top goal scorer of the tournament.

Aside from Kempes and a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the 1978 World Cup win, the day was filled with family-friendly activities and performances. Before the show began, attendees browsed the crafts and exhibits, participated in family activities, tried out the tango, and enjoyed Argentinian and other foods.  Once the performances began, the audience swayed to tangos, tapped their feet to the folk dances, and otherwise enjoyed the wide variety of fabulous music, from guitar to Latin pop.

This year’s headliners included MC Silvana Quiroz; Le Manch Rock, “Harmonica de Latinoamerica” Fabricio Rodriguez’s band in his U.S. debut who conquered the festival with their fresh fusion of  folklore and Latin sound rhythms and Word Music;  Monica Totino & Cesar Barria Tango Dances, Ruben Gimenez & Marcos Pereyra with all the music of Entre Rios, Ceibales de Saltao carnival folk music of Salta and Dardo Valerio Folk Singer; Christian Pérez guitar; Alberto Cuello Folk Singer, Mariela Marco Tango Singer; Chakaymanta School, the sisters Susan Jimenez (14) y Sofia Jimenez (12) and professional dancers  Viviana Rettori & José Rojas, Carlos Gutiérrez, and Liza and Alexey Semyonov; Pop Salvatore. The breadth of performers amply showcased the many dimensions of Argentinian traditions. For a full list of performers, visit the Festival’s website at festivalargentino.org.

The Raffle winners to Buenos Aires Argentina Courtesy of Copa Airlines were Esteban Rodriguez from Mexico & Carlos M. Alarcon from El Salvador.  MC Silvana Quiroz, Mario Kempes special invite & Luis Levit de la Embajada Argentina.

“Thank you, once again, for an exhilarating evening of celebration …mother’s day…,” said Manzoni at the end of the night. “Most of all, thank you to our participants and volunteers, who make this event possible year after year!”

The Festival occurs annually in May, and always features a full slate of international and local performers, support from Media, local businesses, Embassy of Argentina and Arlington County. For more information about the Festival, its preparations and participants, contact Daniel Manzoni at 703.212.5850, and visit festivalargentinousa.com

703.212.5850 Festivalargentinousa.com