OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Citizens and legislators alike gathered in the Oklahoma State Capitol rotunda Tuesday to celebrate the 6th annual Hispanic Cultural Day.

“I am so proud of my Hispanic heritage as are the other members of the Latino Caucus, which is why we look forward to this special event each year. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to hold it the last couple of years due to the pandemic, so we are very excited to welcome Oklahomans back to the Capitol to celebrate the incredible culture, history, music, and food of the Hispanic people,” Sen. Michael Brooks, D-Oklahoma City, said. “The Hispanic community is the fastest growing population in our state, contributing nearly $8 billion in state revenues to our economy thanks in part to the 20,000 Hispanic-owned businesses statewide. We are proud, hardworking Oklahomans dedicated to making our state a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family, and we’re so excited to celebrate and share our many contributions and beautiful culture with our fellow Oklahomans.”

The Legislative Latino Caucus said this year’s event, “Our Shared Indigenous Roots,” was centered around the connection between Latino indigenous roots and the Native American tribes in Oklahoma.

Live performances, information booths, art and food were all a part of today’s celebration.

Latino Caucus Vice Chair Rep. Ryan Martinez, R-Edmond, said Hispanic Cultural Day is important to give the community a voice and share all the positive things they are doing around the state.

“A lot of times, I don’t think the Hispanic community realizes how powerful they are and the incredible contributions that they make to the state of Oklahoma,” Martinez said. “Not only do we have thousands of business owners providing jobs and infusing money into our local communities, along with our large overall population of consumers, but the Hispanic community’s strong family values, faith, traditions, and hard work ethic are a welcomed positive influence in schools, businesses, cities, and towns around the state. This special day gives us an opportunity to recognize that shining example, and we hope our fellow Oklahomans will come share in the celebration.”