Festival Brings Cultures Together In W-B

September 16, 2018
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Festival Brings Cultures Together In W-B

WILKES-BARRE — The city’s second annual Multicultural Festival on Saturday made Public Square look, sound and smell like a small world after all.

The free event, organized by Wilkes-Barre city officials with the help of several sponsors, featured food choices and musical performances that represented cultures from much of the planet.

Irish step dancers, Aztec dancers and salsa dancers took the stage at the square. A large crowd sampled cuisine ranging from Caribbean to Polish to Middle Eastern.

A group from St. Anthony and St. George Maronite Church attended the festival for the second straight year, grilling and serving various Lebanese treats.

The festival celebrates “the fact that we are a diverse community,” said Sharon Koter, church vice president.

“It’s respect for one another, when you see and understand all these other cultures,” she said.

Community groups such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Action Together NEPA and Moms Demand Action for Gun Safety set up tables and booths throughout the square.

A group of Democratic committee members encouraged people to register to vote — even if they register as Republicans, according to Peter Ouellette, one of the group.

“People seem passionate about the upcoming election,” said Wendy Cominsky.

Cominsky and Ouellette said about 15 people had picked up voter registration forms as of late afternoon.

Ron Felton, a longtime local civil rights leader and community activist, served as grand marshal of the parade up Main Street that preceded the festival.

“I think this is great,” Felton said, as he looked around the square. “People seem to enjoy it. ... It truly strengthens the community.”

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