National news outlets and social media continue to chatter about a southern border wall, ICE raids, and other barriers between us.

UNIDOS Palestine and the Palestine Chamber of Commerce are taking a different route: They're celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with a fair to unite the community.

UNIDOS, the city's Hispanic outreach program, celebrates its two-year anniversary in Palestine this month.

“UNIDOS means united,” Michele Herbert, UNIDOS member and community liaison for the Palestine Police Department, told the Herald-Press Thursday. “We hope this festival does just that. If we unite our community and bridge gaps, we improve our quality-of-life, and the city benefits as a whole.”

The festival takes place Sept. 14 at Oxbow Hollow, 215 E. Crawford St., from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. It features Mexican food, pottery, handcrafts, traditional clothing, music and dancing. A bounce-house, clown, games, and other activities will entertain the kids.

The event is free and open to the public.

Palestine Police Chief Andy Harvey, a UNIDOS Palestine founder, said the festival will give law enforcement an opportunity to connect with every slice of the community.

“The more we learn and appreciate each other, the better and safer we will be,” Harvey said. “We hope all will come and help us build better relationships, and have some fun while doing it.”

Live music, including the traditional sounds of Mariachi Lara, a Selena tribute band, and Tejano Roots Hall of Fame members Latin Express, will perform throughout the day.

“This is the perfect opportunity to recognize the contributions of the Hispanic and Latino Community in Palestine,” Herbert said. “What better way to celebrate? Everyone is invited and welcome to this event.”

For more information, contact Community Liaison Michele Herbert at 903-731-8418, or email her at

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