LACONIA — The 13th Annual Laconia Multicultural Festival, a hallmark of Lakes Region events, takes place rain or shine in downtown Laconia, Rotary Riverside Park and The Historical Belknap Mill on September 6. Activities start at 10 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. Included in the day are free entertainment, food and craft venders--some local and many representing a wide variety of cultures--along with exhibits, children activities, and the traditional parade.
Celebrating the worldwide inclusiveness of the day, the Parade of International Flags, organized by Larry Frates, leads off the day. As a special part of the day Up With People will join in with their flags. Traditionally, many flags are available to be carried. All are invited to find a flag of theirs or another cultural heritage and participate in the parade. It starts in the NH Bank area about 10:15 a.m. and marches around downtown Laconia to Rotary Park.
Wah Lum Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy of Malden, MA are a stunning addition to the day. Wah Lum Kung Fu and the Academy are well known throughout the Greater Boston Area and New England for their professional lion dance, dragon dance, drumming, and kung fu/tai chi performances.
They are recognized for the study of Chinese Martial Arts in an environment meaningful for the development of strong mental and physical well-being. They make positive cultural and community connections. They were voted as "Best of Malden" for seven consecutive years.
The Black Thunder Singers keep the old traditions as taught by the elders, both in their performances and in their daily lives. They bring their powerful drumming, dancing, and singing to the park. They are in high demand for pow wows on the east coast. Since they consider their songs as belonging to the people, they do not believe in making a profit for singing or dancing. All profits beyond expenses are donated to charity.
This year LMF has its very own cookbook: Tastes of Nations! It will be for sale at the LMF tent. The cookbook contains over 100 recipes collected from our original immigrants to the most recent ones.
With the construction and other activities in downtown Laconia, continuous shuttle bus service has been arranged from 10 am to 4 pm. Beacon Street East is the central area for the Festival. The shuttle will pick you up and drop you off at various parking lots near the center of Laconia, going to and from Beacon Street East. Parking for the Festival can be found in the following areas: St Joseph's Church parking lot on Church Street, the Laconia Clinic area, and the Water Street lots.
The Laconia Multicultural Committee is especially appreciative of our many sponsors, including the Laconia Human Relations Committee; the Penny Pitou-Milo Pike Family Fund; the Well Sense Health Plan; Genesis Behavioral Health; the Bank of NH; the Northway Bank; and Lutheran Social Services.
All entertainment is free through our sponsors and the many others whose donations we have received! Raffle tickets are available at the LMF booth. To relax in the park it is helpful to bring your own chair.