HOLA Lakeway International Food Festival cancelled

HOLA Lakeway announced that the community-favorite Lakeway International Food Festival will not take place this year.

“Since its first iteration, the festival has grown into a treasured tradition in the community” said attorney Willie Santana, co-founder and member of the board. “We held off on making this decision in hopes that we could salvage the event, but the board does not believe we can hold the event safely this year.”

The festival, first conceived as a way to highlight the Hispanic and Latino communities, has steadily grown into an important part of the Lakeway Area’s cultural, economic and social character.

Over the past half-decade, it has grown into a treasured institution in the region that showcases the important and unique cultural, economic and social contributions that the immigrant families of the Lakeway Area make in our community.

The Lakeway International Food Festival’s goal has always been to create an opportunity for the community as a whole to come together and celebrate the rich and diverse culture.

It also has made a lasting contribution to the local economy by attracting nearby residents to visit, eat and shop here.

“Our commitment to the continued growth of the festival remains strong” said K.C. Alvarado, co-founder and current chairwoman of the HOLA Lakeway Board. “We will to come back next year, and after the difficult year our community is having, we expect it to be a big party.”

HOLA Lakeway is encouraging the public to stay tuned to its website and Facebook page as they plan for other smaller events that will take place later in the winter or early next year in the spring that “will keep the community engaged,” according to Betsy Hurst, HOLA executive director.

HOLA Lakeway succeeded the Latino Task Force of Morristown in 2014.

In 2018, the organization began to see a growth in the community of immigrant families from other parts of the world like India, Micronesia and Pakistan, and decided to expand its efforts to serve all immigrants in the community.

Today, HOLA Lakeway is a grassroots, community-based organization with the mission of meeting needs and improving the overall quality of life for the immigrant population in East Tennessee’s Lakeway region.

HOLA Lakeway offers various educational programs, such as English and Spanish classes but are also actively involved in a variety of grassroots projects such as coordinating with the COVID-19 Task Force and Hamblen County’s Complete Count Committee.

For additional information, to volunteer or contribute to HOLA Lakeway’s activities, go to holalakeway.org or call 423-621-9065.