Kentville’s Multicultural Fair: An End of Summer Delight for the Senses
By Genevieve Allen Hearn
You can feel it in the air. The humidity is breaking and a briskness is creeping in. The evenings are feeling comfortable under our blankets. Summer has been good to us. But we’re not ready to move on without one final celebration.
The 4th annual Multicultural Fair in Kentville is a great way to spend one of your last, precious summer weekends. There will be lively music and delicious food. There will be captivating dancing and a market for art. There will be unique cultural experiences such as an Eritrean Coffee Ceremony and henna body art. What better way to wrap up the summer season than to give a gift to all your senses?
The event takes place on Saturday, August 25 10am – 4pm in Kentville’s Centre Square. Mark Riley, lead singer of the blues, funk and soul band The Mark Riley Project, participated in the event last year and will be playing on the mainstage again this year. Riley comments, “The Multicultural Fair is very important to the Valley because it allows us to learn about different cultures as they relate to us and to the rest of the world. The Valley is becoming more culturally diverse every day so this is a great chance to showcase the tastes and talents from around the world. We need to be aware of how other cultures live so that we can live together.”
The Mark Riley Project will be joining a line-up of other talented performers including Millbrook First Nations artist and musician Alan Syliboy and his band The Thundermakers, accomplished flamenco dancer from Madrid, Maria Osende, and Cuban musician Freddie Mujica rounding the event off with a Cuban street party.
The annual event is organized by a Kentville Business Community events committee. Dave Reid, chair of the committee, enthuses, “This year’s event has grown in size, but more so in quality. We’ve added some new performances we know everyone will love.”
Reid continues, “This event not only celebrates cultural diversity, but it also welcomes and opens channels for newcomers to our province and Valley. Nova Scotia needs more new people, new ideas and new energy to encourage sustainable growth for our collective future.”
The events committee is putting energy into forging relationships with like-minded organizations and events around the province to deepen their impact. The Multicultural Fair organizers attended Halifax’s Multifest this year, and came back with a spring in their step. Reid exclaims, “The reaction there from both the public and their participants to our Fair was overwhelming. We’re reciprocating and they’ll be attending our Fair as guests to promote their next year’s event.”
The Multicultural Fair is free, but you’ll want to bring some cash with you to purchase a selection of delectable ethnic food, a unique gift from the vendor area, or a piece of local art from Hardware Gallery’s art alley. There is lots of parking behind the Kentville Town Hall, behind the Kings Municipal building, or in front of the Kentville arena.
The diverse range of performances, food, and vendors this year will not disappoint! Begin the turn of the season by celebrating the myriad cultural identities, traditions, stories, and flavors that exist here in the Annapolis Valley.
For more information, visit the Facebook page www.facebook.com/KMFinfo/