Ohio picks up the beat on Hispanic celebrations

CINCINNATI (AP) - Ohio's celebrations and observances of Hispanic Heritage Month are growing along with its Latino population.

Organizers say there are more major events in the state than ever for the annual heritage month that begins Sept. 15. They range from a mass salsa dance on Cincinnati's Fountain Square Thursday evening to a statewide Hispanic Business Summit in Columbus next month.

Ohio State University and Miami University are among state schools hosting major events, and Middletown's annual international festival will focus on Peru this year. The Cincinnati Reds baseball team will highlight Hispanic players at Thursday night's game.

The Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino affairs will release event details in Columbus on Wednesday. Ohio's Hispanic population grew in the 2010 Census to 3.1 percent of statewide population, up from 1.9 percent in 2000.