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Limbo contest, salsa lessons among activities at Latin Fiesta in Banff

BANFF – If you like to dance, you might want to salsa dance yourself all the way to Wild Bill’s in Banff on Wednesday (June 26) for the second Latin Fiesta of the season.
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The limbo competition was in full swing at the first Latin Fiesta of 2019.
The limbo competition was in full swing at the first Latin Fiesta of 2019.

BANFF – If you like to dance, you might want to salsa dance yourself all the way to Wild Bill’s in Banff on Wednesday (June 26) for the second Latin Fiesta of the season. 

Growing every year, the Latin Fiesta, which happens once a month during the summer, is a time for the Bow Valley community to come together and, well, dance. 

Organized by local musician John Michaelz, alongside help from his family, friends and the venue, he said the idea to start the event was actually his girlfriends, Catalina Miranda.  

“It was Catalina’s idea, when she came to Canada about six years ago,” he said. 

“She started this group on Facebook – Chileans in Banff, that group is at 400 people now. When we do these Latin nights that’s how we started, she missed the Latin community, the Latin music.”

The event initially began at HI Banff using only an iPhone for music, but has now evolved into a full-fledged evening, complete with DJs and a bigger venue. 

“It’s fun, it’s good bread and butter, it makes people happy…
We’re optimistic to keep it going,” said Michaelz. 

The event promises salsa-dancing lessons from two professionals, Arik Pipe and Sabrina Cheung Labelle, a limbo competition complete with a prize and some fantastic South American DJs – Milo and DN.

“Milo was the one always harassing us like ‘hey man we need a DJ man, what is this man,’ ” said Michaelz through a laugh. 

“So we’re like ‘you know what, why don’t you be the DJ then?’… So DJ Milo it is. At first it was a joke, but he’s really good.”

Salsa dancing lessons with Pipe and Labelle are on from 9-10 p.m. The limbo competition is sometime after 10 p.m. while the DJs are spinning and the winner will be announced at 1 a.m.

Alongside all of this, Michaelz said Wild Bill’s will be specially serving Pisco, a type of brandy produced in Peru and Chile. 

“We will provide Pisco Aba for the next fiesta,” he said. 

“It’s really good, I’ve tried it in Chile where they actually made it.”

In terms of what people typically enjoy the most about Latin Fiesta, Michaelz said it’s the all around vibe. 

“The atmosphere, the authenticity,” he said. 

“The vibes are amazing, the music is amazing. It’s unique for all ages, everyone’s welcome. At 9 p.m., we even have seniors that come dance salsa … It brings everyone together.”

The event is hosted once a month on a Wednesday with the next events being held on July 24 and Aug. 28.

Tickets are $5 in advance, or $7 at the door. For more information, visit the event Facebook page called Latin Fiesta at Wild Bill’s Legendary Saloon.