|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ENJOY A FUN-FILLED, FAMILY FIESTA AS
PEABODY PLACE ENTERTAINMENT AND RETAIL CENTER HOSTS MEMPHIS' 5th ANNUAL
LATINO MEMPHIS FIESTA
"Come Downtown and...Merengue!"
MEMPHIS, Tenn., August 5, 2002 Peabody Place Entertainment and Retail Center is set to be the hottest spot north of the border this weekend, Friday, August 10, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., as the site of Memphis' 5th annual Latino Memphis Fiesta.
The event is a celebration of Latino culture and offers a broad view of the many facets that make up the rich and diverse heritage of Memphis' Latino community, according to José Velázquez, director of Latino Memphis Connection, coordinators of the event.
The festivities will include a parade of nations and feature a wide variety of music from mariachi bands to Latin jazz, along with demonstrations of folkloric dance. Dance lessons also will be provided, where Mid-Southerners can learn to salsa and merengue, as well as childrens arts and crafts, and door prizes.
"We're proud to host Latino Fest at Peabody Place Entertainment and Retail Center this year," said Andrew J. Groveman, senior vice president, Belz Enterprises, developers of Peabody Place. "At the Entertainment and Retail Center we usually invite Mid-Southerners to 'come downtown and play!' This Friday, we want to invite everyone to share in the richness and vitality of Latino culture and 'come downtown and merengue!'"
The event also will include a business fair offering Memphis-area businesses an opportunity to reach out to the Latino community. Velázquez notes that Memphis' Latino community has seen significant growth in recent years and estimates the current population in the Memphis area at approximately 110,000.
"You can see the presence of the Latino community everywhere, it is strong and real," Velázquez said.
Indeed, studies indicate the over the past decade the Latino population in Tennessee has more than doubled. A recent study on Latino immigrants in Memphis and their economic impact conducted by the University of Memphis estimates that in 2000, Memphisarea Latinos spent nearly $360 million locally.
Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., Belz Enterprises is a leading innovator in real estate development with interests throughout the South, including Peabody Place Entertainment and Retail Center at 150 Peabody Place. Throughout the United States, Belz develops, owns and/or manages more than 30 million square feet of industrial/warehouse/distribution centers, shopping centers, office buildings, mixed-use centers and corporate campuses. The company also owns a group of premier hotels including the Peabody Hotels in Memphis, Orlando and Little Rock.