Multicultural Fair shares region's diversity

Rogue World Ensemble, a southern Oregon organization dedicated to preserving and promoting world folk music traditions, will headline the 24th annual Greater Medford Multicultural Fair at Alba Park in Medford on Saturday, Sept. 30.

The fair, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will include food, music and dancing with an international flavor along with kids’ activities and cross-cultural opportunities. Admission and parking are free.

Highlighting this year’s fair will be Rogue World Ensemble, whose world-music choir and drumming groups will take the stage at 3:15 p.m. Other entertainment includes a hula group, dancers from India, flamenco music and a group that plays 12-foot-long alphorns — long wooden tubes traditionally used in the Swiss Alps. Performance times and other details are available on the fair’s Facebook page,

A “cultural café” that originated at last year’s fair will give fair-goers the opportunity to sit down and talk about issues with people of other cultures. Medford photographer Mary Wilkins-Kelly, who is working on a photo project to illustrate the diversity of Southern Oregon, will show hundreds of her photos.

The fair draws several thousand people every fall to share the many cultures in the region, said Debra Lee, an organizer.

“Given the threats to our community’s cohesion with the hate crimes and intimidation that are becoming more frequent in Jackson County, now more than ever it is important for us to come together as a community to share what unites us,” she said in a press release. “Diversity is the best medicine for the soul and creates a healthy community.”

The fair is organized annually by Friends of the Multicultural Fair, a project of the city of Medford’s Multicultural Commission.

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