FREDERICK, Md. (DC News Now) — According to the U.S. Census, 16.6% of the Frederick population is Hispanic.

The county’s Hispanic Heritage Festival has become an important part of the community.

“We’ve seen the growth. We’ve felt the growth, and we decided as Centro Hispano de Frederick, that there needs to be a celebration of the immigrant population here in Frederick,” Executive Director, Maria Shuck said. “With the city and the Frederick city partnership, we said let’s do it.”

The festival will include food and music from all 30 Latin American countries and territories, and gives the opportunity for Latin cultures to be celebrated and introduced to everyone.

“It’s important for the community to understand that we are not all the same,” Shuck said. “We hail from about 30 countries in Latin America, and it’s important for people to know that each country has its own history, its own ethnicity, its own race, its own history.”

Past festival goers say the festival is one of Frederick’s biggest events where they feel included and seen.

“I’m really happy because I feel part of the community, I feel the inclusion of the Hispanic community in the U.S.A., in particular in Frederick,” Andrea Zelaya said.

The festival will be held on Oct. 7 at Carroll Creek.