Tickets have sold out for the first-ever Hispanic Heritage Celebration at Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts.
And it’s not just because they were free. Lead organizer Javier Kinghorn has lined up over 50 Latino and Latino-inspired acts for the showcase event.
It all goes down on Friday, Sept. 20, starting at 7:30 p.m., and everyone’s invited for an after party at the neighboring Gallo.
Click here for additional details on the planned performances.
Kinghorn is the newly appointed chairman of the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce’s Latino Leadership Council. He’s also a Suffolk County Hispanic Advisory Board appointee.
“The idea is to be a bridge for the entire community. This is not just for Latinos, it’s for everybody, to get everybody under the same roof and just rock the house,” Kinghorn told GreaterPatchogue.
“It’s an opportunity to take a look at your neighbor. This is what Patchogue is and we’re all in the same boat here,” added Kinghorn, also a Patchogue-Medford High School graduate who was born in Puerto Rico.
The theater’s executive director, Gary Hygom, said part of the organization’s mission statement is to reflect the community’s demographic.
“And this theater really hasn’t in the past, yet 35 percent of Patchogue is Latino,” he said. “And we want them to be part of Patchogue Theatre.”
“The arts transcends boundaries,” said Jodi Giambrone, who’s also with the Patchogue Theatre and will be singing the National Anthem at next Friday’s event. “This is the perfect opportunity for the whole community to come together for free, and celebrate.”
“We’re just scratching the surface of what we’re going to do,” David Kennedy, the chamber’s executive director, said of the Latino Leadership Council. “Javier is he knows this community, he loves this community, and he’s from this community. He’s the perfect person to run something like this.”
Earlier this month, Kinghorn said he was “visualizing” a sellout.
His vision came true with a week to spare.
“I am absolutely astonished and humbled by the turnout and the overwhelming support from Latinos and non-Latinos in Patchogue,” Kinghorn said. “Serving my community is such an honor and privilege for me. ¡Que viva Patchogue!”
Top: Javier Kinghorn, Jodi Giambrone and Gary Hygom outside Patchogue Theatre for Performing Arts earlier this month. (Michael White)