Local Colors has lots to celebrate, not the least of which is a recently announced ,000 grant from the Taubmans.
This year’s festival takes place May 21, downtown in Elmwood Park, and features Egypt, a country remaking itself — and “that’s something we really need to celebrate,” says Local Colors founder Pearl Fu. Roanoke’s Egyptian community is relatively new to Local Colors, says Fu. The stage will be decorated in honor of the African country (“very, very spectacular”) and this year’s fashion show (coordinated in partnership with the Roanoke Fashionistas) and parade will highlight Egypt as well.
Beside festival favorites year after year — delicious food from many countries, dance, live music, games, celebrity emcees, vendors and the Parade of Nations — the 2011 festival will also include dancing and singing by Sudanese children, dance from Mexico and Polynesia, Ukrainian music and (from closer to home, but inspired by Europe) — Local Colors’ first ever contra dancing. Star-Sentinel New Director Gene Marrano will be emceeing the event.
Local Colors is Roanoke’s premiere year-long multi-cultural program which recognizes and embraces people of diverse origins, races and ethnic backgrounds. Throughout the year Local Colors works with schools, colleges, neighborhoods, retirement communities, government, businesses and civic organizations to promote diversity and multicultural understanding. Upcoming Local Colors events beyond the May festival include a Hike for Haiti up Mill Mountain, on June 18.