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El Mercadito de Windsor is Town Green's Latest Summer Festival

May 6, 2022



Angelica Nuñez, Director

Somos Windsor


New Friday Night Market Launching in Windsor May 13:

“El Mercadito de Windsor” Brings Latinx Food, Artisans and Fun to Town Green

Windsor’s Town Green will host a new nighttime event next Friday: El Mercadito de Windsor, set to run every second Friday from 5 – 9 PM from May through August. The monthly Friday night event, “Windsor’s Little Market” in English, will feature Latinx foods and beverages and the works of local Latinx artisans and craftspeople, as well as free children’s activities.

More than 50 vendors and makers are signed up for each of the El Mercadito Fridays: May 13, June 10, July 8, and August 9.

El Mercadito kicks off May 13 with “Mariachis and Mimosas for Mom,” featuring free traditional Mariachi music and the popular brunch cocktail for sale from 5-6:30 PM at the Mercadito Cantina. The Children's Museum of Sonoma County will be on the Town Green with their “Museum on the Go” with free children's activities.

The first 50 people to check in at the El Mercadito de Windsor information booth May 13 will receive a free “swag bag” with a Swag Card good for discounts throughout the market, as well as at shops and restaurants and tasting rooms around the Windsor Town Green. Discounts and deals were all donated by Windsor merchants.

The first 25 children to arrive at the 6:30 PM Encanto Storytime on the Green May 13 will receive a Kids Swag Bag with a gift certificate for one free scoop of Baskin Robbins Ice Cream, donated by Baskin Robbins in Windsor. Barefoot Bubbly donated sparkling drinks for the evening’s mimosas, and Constellation Brands donated Modelo Especial for sale at the Mercadito Cantina.

On Friday June 10, local dog rescue group Compassion Without Borders will be on the Town Green with child-centered activities that focus on family pets. They’ll also have animals available for adoption, and information about low-cost resources for local pet care.

The group works to rescue dogs and puppies in Mexico and California’s Central Valley. Volunteers provide them veterinary care, grooming and training, and adopt them out to Sonoma County families from their “Muttopia” shelter in Santa Rosa. CWB also offers monthly low-cost mobile veterinary care clinics in underserved communities across Sonoma County.

Special events and entertainment for the July and August markets will be announced soon. For details, and to sign up for notices of market events, visit the website.

El Mercadito de Windsor was created to showcase local Latinx chefs, restaurants and food trucks as well as Latinx artists and craftspeople and provide a fun place for families to enjoy Latinx culture. But everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the monthly event, said Angelica Nuñez, director of the nonprofit organization Somos Windsor. (“We Are Windsor.”)

Proceeds from the market will pay not only the vendors, but also Somos Windsor’s human services projects for the town’s Spanish-speaking residents and Latinx cultural arts programs in Windsor. Proceeds from the Mercadito Cantina will directly fund those Somos Windsor programs.

The Somos Windsor organization grew from the nonprofit set up to put on El Dia de los Muertos Windsor, the town’s annual traditional cultural “Day of the Dead” event. The group, largely made up and led by Latinx business leaders and professionals, stepped up to start providing diapers and food to local families during Covid.

Group leaders Nuñez, county child services officer Alberto Botello, realtor Sonia Vasquez and firefighter Dennis Rutkowski noticed Windsor’s Spanish-speaking workers were experiencing hard times due to the Covid 19 shutdowns.

They organized a free diaper giveaway in Windsor that saw a huge turnout. Somos Windsor offered several more “Diaper Drive-Through” events that expanded to include food, car seats, toys, and other items needed by local Spanish-speaking Latinx families.

Recognizing that Windsor’s Spanish-speaking Latinx community needed support with children’s needs, health and food supply issues, the board of El Dia de los Muertos Windsor re-formed as Somos Windsor with an expanded mission.

“We have the cultural awareness, understanding, and a desire to help fill the gaps to reach our Spanish-speaking families and new arrivals,” Núñez explained. Thanks to 10 years of putting on Windsor’s El Dia de los Muertos celebrations, the group has an extensive social media following and presence in the town’s Spanish-speaking and bilingual Latinx community. “We have an ability to provide information to Windsor’s Spanish-speaking community year-round,” Nuñez said.

Organizers stressed that while the group's focus is to fill gaps and bridge language barriers to reach local Spanish-speaking and agriculture labor families, it will warmly welcome any family in Windsor needing assistance.

“We’re not trying to compete with any other nonprofits; we’re trying to support families who may not otherwise be served. We see it as a bonus and a win for the community.”

Many residents volunteering to help Somos Windsor have parents or grandparents who immigrated to the town and surrounding area from Mexico, and grew up in homes with some relatives who spoke only Spanish. “We understand the needs of those families,” she said. “This is the community where we grew up, and we want to keep the circle going.”


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