Photo courtesy of the city of Peoria

Downtown Peoria will come alive with vibrant colors, melodies, and aromas on Saturday, Sept. 30, as the city hosts Somos Peoria, a multicultural festival marking Hispanic Heritage Month. From 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., the stretch between Washington and Jefferson Streets and 83rd Ave will transform into a hotspot of festivities.

A city-sponsored signature event, Somos Peoria seeks to both entertain and enlighten. Attendees can anticipate a blend of rich traditions, from Ballet Folklorico and Lucha Libre to the melodious presence of strolling mariachis. Car enthusiasts will be drawn to the classic and lowrider car show, while children will find joy in a dedicated kids’ zone, ensuring the event is truly family friendly.

Live music takes center stage with national and local bands set to perform. Topping the charts is the headlining band, Ozomatli, an iconic ensemble from Los Angeles recognized for their diverse, multi-cultural beats. The group, a three-time Grammy recipient, captures the very essence of Los Angeles with its eclectic mix of salsa, cumbia, merengue, hip hop, and funk. Their music resonates with the heartbeat of the city, reflecting the myriad of sounds one might hear on a simple drive down Sunset Boulevard.

Also gracing the stage is the legendary R&B group, Color Me Badd. Now helmed by original founding member Mark Calderon, the band continues to serenade audiences with its classic hits and new tunes alike. With songs that have transcended decades and popped up in movies, TV shows, and even an episode of “Beverly Hills, 90210,” their musical prowess remains undiminished.

The enchanting Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea, the official all-female mariachi band of Disneyland Resort since 2003, rounds off the musical lineup. Known for their elegant and innovative take on mariachi traditions, they weave a musical tapestry ranging from classics to jazz and pop.

But the festival is more than just music. Traditional foods, offering a taste of Hispanic culture, will tantalize the taste buds. For those inclined, beer and margaritas will also be available, alongside an array of arts and crafts. For those seeking an elevated experience, VIP tickets are on offer, while general admission remains free to all.

As festivalgoers immerse themselves in the festivities, ample parking will ensure accessibility is smooth. Free parking spots can be found at the city of Peoria parking garages on 85th Avenue and Cinnabar, 83rd Avenue and Cinnabar, and the City Hall parking lot on 8401 W. Monroe St. Additionally, ADA/Handicap spaces are reserved at Osuna Park on Washington Street.

The full schedule includes:
• 4 p.m. to 4:30 pm – DJ Stixx kicks off the event
• 4:15 p.m. – Ballet Folklorico ESTO ES MEXICO
• 5 p.m. – Jahlos Rebels
• 6 p.m. – Mariachi Divas
• 7:15 p.m. – Color Me Badd
• 9 p.m. – Ozomatli
• 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. – An array of activities including the Lowrider Car Show, Mujeres Mercado and Vendor Market, Food Vendors, and the Kids Zone.
• 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Lucha Libre in action

With the final curtain drawing at 10:30 p.m., Somos Peoria promises a night of merriment, culture, and community spirit. For more details on the event, attendees can call 623-773-7099, or visit