Rebecca Filipski, Correspondent

Carnaval, a celebration of Latin American music, dance and costumes, is coming to Wilkes University Oct. 2.

Wilkes University’s Multicultural Student Coalition, Spanish Club and Student Government are sponsoring Carnaval in honor of Hispanic Heritage month from 6-9 p.m. on Oct. 2 in the Henry Student Center Ballroom. Carnaval is celebrated in most Latin American countries.

Dr. Paola Bianco, a Spanish professor, says Carnaval is a “day of the races” and it marks an important day in history.

“El dia de la raza,” day of the races, commemorates the day Christopher Columbus discovered the new world, Bianco said. With the Spaniards meeting the indios and later the Africans who were brought into the new world, many new ethnic groups emerged.

Carnaval honors the diversity of the races of the Latin America. The diversity is celebrated in October with music and dances performed in typical costumes, food typical of the specific country and all kinds of parades and activities.

Erica Acosta, director of diversity initiatives, is in charge of hosting the event along with Bianco. Acosta quoted Cuban singer Celia Cruz on the meaning of Carnaval. “La vida es un carnaval, Cruz said, which  Acosta translated as “Life is just a big celebration.”

Carnaval will feature a live band, Weepa from Scranton. The band will play Latin music and will include salsa, merengue and bachata dances. A table will be available for participants to build masks and posters of the different Latin American countries. Food provided will include rice, beans, chicken stews and desserts. This event is open to the public and for all ages.

For more information contact Acosta at [email protected]