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New Iberia Spanish Festival recognizes Spanish influence and heritage

Posted at 1:59 AM, Apr 23, 2023

NEW IBERIA, La. — El Festival Español de Nuevo Iberia or the New Iberia Spanish Festival celebrates the Spanish ancestry and culture that the city was founded on.

In 1779, several families from Malaga, Spain immigrated to New Iberia and founded the city along Bayou Teche.

Two of the founding families were the López's and the Segura's, and to this day direct descendants of those families are still in New Iberia, representing their Spanish roots.

KATC spoke with the President of El Festival Español de Nueva Iberia, Brinkley Lopez who is related to the Segura family and married into the López family, says representation for Spanish is often overlooked.

"A lot of you think of French but you don't realize that it's a lot of Spanish, that is where it was founded by the Spanish so it's very important to make a connection, dig deep," said Lopez.

Ron Miguez, a board member of the festival and also directly related to the Miguez family, is hoping that cultural festivals like these can influence others to learn more about their history and make sure that the culture lives on for future generations to come.

"We need to keep the culture alive, it's like Spanish culture a lot of people didn't know that the Spanish culture was here, the kids and stuff don't learn it and they don't have it anymore," Miguez said. "They don't know who they are or where they came from."

Syndi Leblanc, the Miss Spanish Festival Queen VII, said without the Spanish influence, the city's rich heritage wouldn't be the same.

"They brought over all the all Spanish heritage and the culture that we have here in New Iberia as well as in Louisiana," Leblanc said. "So they brought over a lot of that and so we wanted to make it known and bring prevalence to who we are and where we are and where we come from, and what New Iberia is."

To find out more about the festival's events, click here.