Fire Department Hosts Latin American Christmas Festival - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Fire Department Hosts Latin American Christmas Festival

Posted: Updated: Dec 21, 2012 09:35 PM EST

The Charlottesville Fire Department hosted its sixth annual community Posada event Friday night.

A Posada is a Christmas festival originating in Latin America that dramatizes Joseph and Mary's search for lodging.

The festival had gifts from Santa and a piñata for kids, bilingual safety pamphlets for parents and caroling for all guests to enjoy. Traditional Mexican drinks and food, such as churros and tamales, were also set out.

Organizers say the event was a chance to educate the community.

"The whole community comes to whatever family is hosting the Posada and the family here in Charlottesville has always been the Charlottesville Fire Department," said Felipe Mendoza, an organizer of the event. "There is opportunity for the fire chief to address the Latino community to explain to them that when they come, they are responding to an emergency. Don't be afraid, help them to do their work, and they are there just to serve."

The event has grown every year since it started, with more than 300 people filling the firehouse last year.

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