West Kentucky Community and Technical College will kick off its 13th annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration at 11 a.m. Sept. 25 in the Clemens Student Center. The hourlong celebration is free and open to the public.

Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month each year from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, and several events are planned throughout the month to celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

WKCTC students, faculty, staff and community members can enjoy a Hispanic lunch provided by the local Qdoba restaurant, which is again partnering with the event. Desserts will be presented by WKCTC's Hispanic Culture Club.

Authentic Hispanic dancers will also entertain people at the event with a variety of typical Mexican dances. The college's Paducah School of Art and Design students will lead attendees in mask painting. Masks have been used for centuries in traditional dances and ceremonies and in celebrations such as Day of the Dead and Corpus Christi in Mexico and other parts of the Spanish-speaking world.

The month-long celebration also includes other WKCTC activities that are also free and open to the public.

• Sept. 15-Oct. 15, Paducah School of Art and Design exhibit, 905 Harrison St. PSAD will feature photographs of Mask of Michoacan in the school's Alcove Gallery. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

• Sept. 16-Oct. 11, Kitchens Cafe Weekly Hispanic Specials, 905 Harrison St. Each week, a different Hispanic country will be featured. Specials are inspired from Spain, Costa Rica, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Kitchens Cafe is open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday.

• Sept. 16, Matheson Coffee Mondays, Cafe los lunes, Mexican bread and conchas, churros (Oct. 7). Visit WKCTC's Matheson Library to view a display of Hispanic resources and enjoy free coffee and Hispanic refreshments offered from 8 a.m. to noon.

• Oct. 3, Culinary Arts Showcase, 11 a.m.-noon, Anderson Technical Building Bistro. WKCTC culinary art students of Chef Erik Engelland and Spanish students of Senora Carolyn Perry will collaborate for a unique experience that will focus on the Spanish tradition of gathering around small plates of food called tapas. The tapas menu will feature serrano ham fritters, chorizo stuffed dates, Seville-style gazpacho, garlic shrimp skewers and many others. Spanish students will share with culinary arts students some basic conversations en espanol. Reservations required by Sept. 30. Contact Perry at carolyns.perry@kctcs.edu.

For more information about the WKCTC Hispanic Heritage Celebration, contact Carolyn Perry at 270-534-3205 or carolyns.perry@kctcs.edu.

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