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      Friendly festive fun in Tifton

      Bridging the gap between the Hispanic culture and non-Hispanic culture.

      That was the message Saturday, the 17th annual La Fiesta del Pueblo Fest.

      The festival is known as the biggest celebration of Hispanic culture in Southern Georgia.

      The event included authentic food, festive music, traditional dances, arts and crafts and a children's carnival.

      Last year, the festival attracted more than 6,000 people from 33 counties and five states.

      Organizer Luz Marti says, "the Hispanic community is growing by leaps and bounds in this area and 17 years ago we saw that trend developing and we decided it was time to really do something."

      In 2004, La Fiesta del Pueblo was recognized by the Georgia Council for the Arts, Office of the Governor - Grassroots Arts Program as an outstanding recipient of grassroots funding.

      Governor Perdue indicated that La Fiesta, as well as seven other projects around the state, shows how arts can change lives and can be used a tool to strengthen Georgia communities.

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