We Celebrate Our Cultural Fabric

We are being bombarded these days about everything that is wrong with this country. I was thinking maybe this week I might write about something I have always felt was right about this country. Something that you see almost no where else in the world; blending of many cultures and ethnicities.

My grandparents were immigrants. When I was a child,  half of my relatives were born in Italy and spoke no English. I mean they thought they spoke English but trust me, they did not. I thought every family was exactly the same way. Maybe not all Italian but all of them having a collection of relatives that were new to this country.  Millions of people flocked here in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. And  people come here to this day. We certainly have an excellent array of ethnic advantages because of this blending. Think about the simple task of going out to eat. The debate in my house isn’t about American food, like hamburgers and hot dogs, it’s usually an ethnic food conversation. Ok who wants Chinese food? How about deli, Mexican, sushi, French, Greek or Italian (I always vote no on that, doesn’t really feel like going out to eat for me, lol)?  You get the idea. Something that we take for granted that is a value added of having all of this ethnic diversity. A true melting pot in deed!

So I say, let’s celebrate that fact. This week there are so many wonderful ethnic events to choose from, that you might have trouble deciding on which ethnic event to visit. I tried to highlight ones from different ethnicities so that you would get a pretty good sense of all that is going on around the country. Typically these are concentrated in areas with a long history of immigrants from that background. Many were started as a way to continue celebrations from their home country and have been ongoing for 100+ years. It was done to keep traditions alive and, I would assume, to also ease their homesickness. Whatever the reason, it is a valuable resource that we here in America have to share with each other.

I have listed some wonderful events that exemplify this melting pot. I know that these are not going to be convenient for about 90% of my readers to attend due to proximity. However, with a little searching, your chances of finding a great ethnic event near you this week are pretty good. Use the search box above to find some ethnic events in your backyard this week. Once you find one, grab the kids, grandma and the neighbors and head on over to a great time experiencing another culture through music, dance, art, food (you knew that was coming) and so much more.

Festival of India

Aug 18, 2012 – Aug 19, 2012

Downtown Fremont Fremont, CA US 94536

Since 1993. Featuring something for everyone including a free health fair, cultural programs, signing competitions, concerts a street fair and parade. Also lots of great food and many children’s activities.

International Celtic Festival

Aug 18, 2012 – Aug 19, 2012

Hunter Mountain Hunter, NY US 12442

Live entertainment from the Seven Celtic Nations, featuring a bagpipe competition, sheep herding demonstrations, a saber toss, and Irish Step Dancers. The highlight is the Mass March on Sunday with nearly 1,000 bagpipers and drummers will be performing.

Polish Fest

Aug 19, 2012

Saint Stanislaus Church Rockford, IL US 61104

Festival with two polka bands, Polish dancers, Polish Culture Center, rides and games for children, arts and crafts, bingo, plus ethnic foods and pastries, including our famous Polish sausage and sauerkraut dinner.

Milwaukee Irish Fest

Aug 16, 2012 – Aug 19, 2012

Henry W. Maier Park Milwaukee, WI US 53202

Since 1981, features Irish and Irish American talent, and serves as a stage for up-and-coming local performers. Music and dance comprise a main element of Irish Fest. Top Irish and Irish American entertainers from around the world, as well as numerous regional groups perform on the festival’s 15 stages. In addition, roaming performers dressed in traditional costumes entertain guests as they stroll the grounds. Plus cultural exhibits, displays, theater, poetry readings, demonstrations, raffles, and comedy shows. Grafton Street and Lilliput Marketplaces offer shoppers everything from musical selections and books to Irish fisherman’s sweaters, jewelry, crafts, collectibles and artwork. For those with a competitive nature, Irish Fest offers plenty of contests. Sports such as rugby, hurling, currach racing and Gaelic football are played throughout the festival. Competitions include internationally sanctioned tug-of-war, Top O’ the Morning Run/Walk, children’s red hair and freckle contests, bingo, treasure hunts and a baking contest.
130,000 Attendees

Danish Festival

Aug 16, 2012 – Aug 19, 2012

Downtown Greenville, MI US 48838

Since 1965, honor Danish heritage with ethnic foods, movie night, volleyball contest, childrens activities, live entertainment, customs and music.
75,000 Attendees

Grecian Festival

Aug 17, 2012 – Aug 19, 2012

Canton Civic Center Canton, OH US 44702

Since 1976. Live Greek music, Greek dance troupe performing daily, gift shop, kids corner, delicious Greek pastries. Free parking, admission and entertainment.
2,000 Attendees

Germantown Spassfest

Aug 17, 2012 – Aug 19, 2012

Schoendienest Field Germantown, IL US 62245

The Spassfest has grown to be one of the best loved and longest running festivals in Illinois. The Spassfest, a celebration of fun and music whose very name means fun festival, is three days of continuous music, entertainment, games, parade, vendor and craft fair, and plenty of food and drink, all keeping with a German heritage. Enjoy the music, rides, food, German atmosphere, and hearty laughter. See our website at http://www.germantownil.com for complete listing and any last minute updates. Also look for us on Facebook. Performers Friday, Aug 17 Duane Grapperhaus and Travis Holtz 6 – 8 pm Beaucoup Bottom Band 8:30 pm – 12:30 am Saturday, Aug 18 Heritage Band 11 am – 3 pm Larry Hallars Two Star Final 3 – 7 pm Short Circuit 7 pm – 1 am Fuzzhead, Geezer and Meat 8 pm – 12 am Willis Wooden Creations Friday and Saturday. Vendor and Craft Fair Saturday starting at 1 pm Parade Saturday 6 pm
12,000 Attendees

IICOT Pow-Wow of Champions

Aug 17, 2012 – Aug 19, 2012

Mabee Center Tulsa, OK US 74136

Since 1978, celebrating the beauty and diversity of Native American culture, more than 700 dancers representing 60 tribes will participate. Now one of Tulsa’s indoor Pow Wow’s.
25,000 Attendees

Tiki Beach Festival

Aug 18, 2012 – Aug 19, 2012

Alfredo’s Beach Club – Granada Beach Long Beach, CA US 90803

A sunrise ceremony will kick of the festivities, including live entertainment, outrigger canoe and catamaran rides, an island market place, and authentic food merchants. Sunrise to sundown. It will feature an Island Market Place and Cultural Center, Traditional Arts and Crafts Including Tiki Carving, Taste of Aloha Food Court – Various Foods of the Islands, Renowned Masters of Island Music and Dance, “Night Of Fire” Torch Lighting, Fire Knife Dance, Fire Walk and Island Music, Kids’ Zone and Play Areas, Crazy Al Evans’ Tiki Museum, Canoe Rides and Other Activities, and Sunday Morning Hula Praise and Worship Service

River City Soul Fest

Aug 17, 2012 – Aug 18, 2012

Riverfront Festival Park Peoria, IL US 61603

Since 1999, One of the Peoria Park Districts signature events this ethnic festival is designed to celebrate the African-American heritage and culture. Features family-oriented African-American entertainment, food, music and cultural displays. Gospel music is performed by various groups.

Fishermans Feast and Madonna Procession

Aug 16, 2012 – Aug 19, 2012

Historic North End Boston, MA US 02113

Since 1910. Boston’s oldest neighborhood, the North End, continues to celebrate the Catholic Feast Days of the Italian Saints dear to the last large immigrant population in the North. Enjoy the processions, street fairs, parades, bands and wonderful Italian food. Stroll the historic and picturesque streets and find yourself transported to Italy. Each night and during weekend days there is entertainment on the bandstand and vendors selling great Italian food (Italian sausages, calamari, pizza, pasta and much more) as well as craft vendors. On Sunday there is a 7 hour Procession of the statue of the Madonna del Soccorso through the North End Streets (12pm), Chef Demonstrations using various Sorrento Cheese products (4pm), The famous Flight of the Angel. As the statue of The Madonna returns to the North Street, a young angel flies from a fourth floor window and recites a prayer to her (8pm). Procession: Feast of Madonna della Soccorsco.
25,000 Attendees

Jackson Hole Scottish Festival

Aug 17, 2012 – Aug 18, 2012

Teton County Fairgrounds Jackson, WY US 83001

Since 2000. Iron your kilts and come to a festival celebrating Scottish history and heritage with music, dancing, athletics and other events.

Santa Fe Indian Market

Aug 18, 2012 – Aug 19, 2012

Santa Fe Plaza Santa Fe, NM US 87501

Since 1921. The Santa Fe Indian Market hosts over 1100 artists from 100 tribes and is the largest cultural event in New Mexico. The work created by the participating artists is incredible in its range— from handcrafted buffalo horn carvings and jewelry to traditional polychrome pottery, there will be something for every taste. Contemporary furniture, jewelry, painting and sculpture, as well as traditional weaving, will add to the diverse array of handmade items that will be available.
100,000 Attendees

Bon Festival

Aug 18, 2012

Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens Delray Beach, FL US 33446

Inspired by Obon, Japan’s traditional three-day holiday honoring ancestors and thanking them for the quality of life enjoyed by the living, The Morikami celebrates Bon Festival in one fun-packed evening. Highlights include rousing taiko drum performances, traditional Japanese folk dancing with audience participation, and a street fair with games and vendor booths. The highlight of the evening begins at sunset when Morikami Pond is transformed into a tranquil sea of lighted lanterns which, in accordance with Japanese custom, guide the departure of ancestors’ souls who have come for a brief visit among the living. A special fireworks display caps the enchanting evening.
8,000 Attendees

Maria can be reached directly at eventsblog@eventcrazy.com or visit her website at www.eventcrazy.com
Copyright © 1998-2012 Events Media Network, Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Photos are copyright of their respective owners.


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