Too often when Americans think of Hispanic culture, they consider only that of their lovely neighbors to the south. And while Mexicans do have fabulous traditions (and foods), the Hispanic peoples and their customs (and their foods) are far more varied. Thankfully, the free Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival
, happening at Soldiers Memorial Park (around 14th and Market streets) Friday through Sunday (August 10 through 12), helps to highlight these other cultures through live music, craftworks, information booths and everyones favorite social lubricant, margaritas. Plus, a variety of ever-important foods present culture to your tummy -- yum
! -- and the Renacer Boliviano Folkloric Dance Troupe out of Chicago represents with the fancy footwork of Bolivia; other dance groups also perform throughout the three-day event. For more information on the celebrations and for a schedule, call 314-837-6100 or visit www.hispanicfestivalstl.com
. The grounds are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.