05/03/09 — 'Viva Goldsboro' held Saturday

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'Viva Goldsboro' held Saturday

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on May 3, 2009 2:00 AM

Willie Cartagena of the Hispanic Community Development Center said the organization's "Viva Goldsboro" celebration held on Saturday did better than he expected for a first-time festival.

The public's participation was sporadic, starting out slow in the morning and picking up as noon approached. And the children 12 and younger played in a soccer tournament in a vacant lot off Center Street.

"Our purpose is to bring the whole community together, and our music is jazz, country western rock and roll and Hispanic," he said. "All the bands are professional, but they play for free."

Four bands performed, and the Center Stage Theater Encore sang patriotic songs between the bands' sets.

Cartagena said he had hoped to see close to 1,000 come to the festival. But overcast skies threatened rain, and he said that might be why traffic was relatively light.

Still, the Wayne County Cruisers car show did well, running out of room early in the day and having to spread out.

Numerous businesses, community organizations and the Wayne County Health Department provided information about services they provide to the public.

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base provided a stage for the performers and helped prepare the soccer field in a vacant lot off Center Street for the tournament played by children 12 and younger.

"The base has been super to us," Cartagena said.

And there were lots of information booths, give-aways and other entertainment during the day.