LACONIA — Laconia and the Lakes Region, hosts to the many cultures of the world, once more celebrate the diversity of the region on Saturday, September 6th. Every year several thousand people gather at the Laconia Multicultural Festival in downtown Laconia, at Rotary Riverside Park and the Historic Belknap Mill from 10 am to 4:30 pm.
Local residents, visitors, new neighbors, familiar faces, and new faces gather to enjoy and appreciate foods from around the world, as well as arts, crafts, exhibits, music, dancing, and to learn about the services of social service agencies.
Once more great talent, colorful costumes, and music and dance come together with the entertainers in Rotary Park. Ankara Rose brings her unique style of dancing through her passion for movement and a variety of forms of dance and music. As a Celtic Fusion performer, she dances many styles and genres – whether it's Irish Step, Scottish Highland, or her unique signature bringing together of Belly dance & Celtic dance. She regularly performs throughout North America.
The Czech & Slovak folklore performers keep alive the traditional folklore songs and musical instruments of the Czech and Slovak cultures. They play the accordion, fujara and cymbalo (a hammered dulcimer). The fujara was included in the UNESCO list of Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005. It is an extremely long flute with three finger holes traditionally played by Slovak shepherds. It is regarded as an integral part of the traditional culture of Central Slovakia.
The Celtic tradition is brought to life in a very different way by the O'Brien Clan located here in the Lakes Region. This family Irish band plays upbeat instrumental Irish jigs and reels, as well as popular folk songs from the Celtic tradition, with rich vocals and harmonies. Their instruments include the guitar, Bodhran, violin, accordion, and the flute, along with vocals.
With the construction and other activities in downtown Laconia, continuous shuttle bus service has been arranged for parking. The shuttle will pick up and drop off people at various parking lots around the center of Laconia. Beacon Street East is the central area for the day. Parking and shuttle service can be found at the following parking lots: St Joseph's Church on Church Street, the Laconia Clinic area, and the Water Street lots, all connecting to and from Beacon Street East.
Becky Guyer, coordinator, and David Stamps, committee member, are guests on the Lakes Region Spot Lights program on the LR Public Access TV. Watch for the week-day program schedule on Channel 25 and tune in to learn what Guyer and Stamps have to say about this year's Laconia Multicultural Festival.
All entertainment is free. Volunteers are welcome. Follow us on Facebook or visit the LMF web site www.laconiamulticulturalfestival.org
The Laconia Multicultural Festival is sponsored by the Laconia Human Relations Committee, Laconia Main Street, and the Historic Belknap Mill.