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PEOPLE en Español Festival: Three things to know

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New York City will be home to PEOPLE en Español’s Festival this weekend, a two-day cultural event from EW’s sister publication that will gather Hispanics from across the country. With musical and dance performances, panel discussions, family activities, and meet-and-greets, the fourth annual festival aims to “create a place where Latinos can celebrate their culture and be inspired, informed, and motivated,” says PEOPLE en Español publisher Monique Manso. In keeping with this year’s theme — “Your Voice, Your Power, Your Festival” — the event will feature top Latino celebrities and influencers ready to share their stories and inspire audiences. With the festival scheduled to take place on Oct. 17 and 18, here are three things that EW is most excited about. 

1. Access

Sure, PEOPLE en Español is the country’s biggest Spanish-language magazine, but how exactly does that translate in terms of Festival programming? For starters, it means attendees will have unparalleled access to their favorite Latino stars during the program. Think legendary actress Rita Moreno, music icon Gloria Estefan, Orange is the New Black cast member Dascha Polanco, Mexican singer-actress Angélica María, and Pitbull, who appears on the cover of PEOPLE en Español’s November issue. And if you’re the type to take pride in knowing who’s hot before your friends, then you’re in luck, since emerging talent like singers Leslie Grace, Jasmine V. and Sofia Reyes are part of the Festival fun too. “They’re who I think about when I’m asked about who the next Becky G. and Ariana Grande are,” says Manso. “You should definitely keep an eye on them.”

2. Behind-the-scenes scoop

Anyone can watch TV, but few can boast they know the dirty scoop that occurs before a director yells “Action!” Panels like “The Truth Behind Reality TV” with Univision’s Nuestra Belleza Latina winner Francisca Lachapel and Telemundo’s La Voz Kids host Jorge Bernal promise to share their stories and reveal juicy details about some of Latin TV’s hottest shows. But if television’s not your thing, NYC’s Javits Center will be home to panels touching on topics like celebrity moms, fashion, music and new media, too. And there’s more: PEOPLE en Español is partnering with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to host an official naturalization ceremony with pop star Thalia and former Yankees pitcher Mariana Rivera in attendance.

3. The experience

“It really is unique,” says Manso of the event, which has moved to NYC after three years in San Antonio, Texas. “There are amazing opportunities for Hispanics to come together at cultural events like the Puerto Rican Day Parade or Fiesta in San Antonio, but none of them are a curated content experience like Festival.” And if you’ve read this far and are bummed you don’t have a ticket, chin up: All events are completely free to the public. Not in NYC? You can keep tabs on the action via PEOPLE en Español’s Twitter and Instagram pages, and television networks like Univision, Telemundo, CNN en Espanol and NBC’s Today show will be covering it, too.

For more on the PEOPLE en Español Festival, click here.