The first annual Long Beach Latin American Parade & Festival was held September 12, 2009. John organized the only African American performance of the Celebration. Steve Leary, El Presidente, was “ born and raised in Panama as the child of an American serviceman, who returned to the U.S. when Leary was sixteen, and a Panamanian mother. Leary is very much a man of two cultures, two identities”, said Greg Mellen of the Long Beach Press Telegram. El Presidente performed Hip Hop in Spanish to a large cheering and dancing audience.