LACONIA — The 12th Annual Laconia Multicultural Festival will be held at the Rotary Riverside Park and the Belknap Mill on Saturday, August 3.
Highlights of the day include ethnic foods, arts, crafts, musical performances, dancing, zoo animals, children's activities, exhibits, henna tattoos, hair braiding, and much more. Food and crafts are available from 10 a.m. to the festival's ceremonial close at 4 p.m.
Families are invited to the Laconia Public Library before a formal opening of the festival. Gail Drucker, children's librarian, along with Hari Tiwari relate the wonderful folktale, The Story of Pumpkin. Hari brings the folk tale from her childhood in Bhutan. Dal Rai, the book illustrator, will also be present with framed original illustrations to be loaned to the children's room at the library. The book is published by the NH Humanities Council. The reading is scheduled for 10 a.m. Refreshments will follow.
The Odaiko Japanese Drummers are on the list of performers in Rotary Park. Their spell-binding drumming carries a special place in the festival as they return once again. Members of Odaiko teach in schools, give workshops, and perform through-out New England.
Other exciting performers include Balla Kouyate, one of the greatest balafon players in the world, as well as the Edwin Pabon y Su Orchestra. Pabon performs Latin music with the Salsa Mix Dancers.
Wild Women's Studio of Laconia will present Tibetan traditional Crystal Singing Bowls. The Concord Community Music School will present a children's music program inside the Belknap Mill. A local group, Eastern Dragon, will demonstrate karate and self-defense. Of course, the day would not be complete without the Kids Corner with a variety of activities and exhibits. As a part of the 'Corner', the Granite State W.I.L.D. Zoo, an educational Zoo, brings their 'exotic' wild life to us once more.
Raffle tickets to support the LMF are available at Sunflower Natural Foods on South Main Street as well as the Historic Belknap Mill.
A free shuttle bus will provide transportation to and from several downtown parking lots. The bus will make a continuous loop, starting from Beacon Street East to the Laconia Clinic parking lot area behind the rail road station and the Beacon Street West far parking lot area on Water Street. Continuous loops start at 9:30 a.m. Bus stops will be marked along the route. Parking is also encouraged in the downtown parking garage.
Odaiko Japanese Drummers (Courtesy photo)