More festivities than ever — including a Portland-based mariachi band, an art contest and a full day of entertainment representing international cultures — will be presented at the 25th annual Greater Medford Multicultural Fair.
Look for food, music and dancing from around the world, along with lots of kids activities and cross-culture opportunities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at the fair’s new location — Pear Blossom Park, 312 E. Fourth St., in downtown Medford. Admission and parking are free.
Woodburn High School Mariachi is a group of students ages 15 to 18. It will open the fair and perform again at midday.
Several highlights are part of the 25th anniversary celebration.
Artwork entered in the fair’s first art contest will be displayed. Winners in the various categories will receive gift certificates to Central Art Supply in Medford.
Food vendors will serve meals and treats from Mexico, Argentina, Hawaii, the Middle East, Thailand and more. Face painting, jump houses, arts, crafts and activities will be available for kids.
Some of the entertainment is new to the fair this year. See facebook.com/greatermedfordmulticultural.
The Cultural Conversation Cafe returns for its third year, giving fairgoers an opportunity to sit down with people from other cultures and discuss similarities and differences.
Adults will be eligible for a raffle drawing of baskets provided by the Rogue Valley Growers & Crafters Market, one of the fair’s sponsors.
Several thousand people are drawn to the fair and its mission of sharing cultures in the Southern Oregon region each year, says organizer Debra Lee.
“It is important to come together as a community to share what unites us and to find common ground,” she says in a press release. “Diversity is the best medicine for the soul and a healthy community.”
The Multicultural Fair is an annual project of Friends of the Multicultural Fair, a group of the city of Medford’s Multicultural Commission. Through the help of sponsors and volunteers, it brings a free, one-day celebration of culture.
This year’s sponsors include the city of Medford, Up Close with Peter Sage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Jackson Care Connect, Medford School District, AllCare Health, La Clinica, Mustard Press, Medford Police Department, Harry & David, Jackson County Library Services, Celebrate Diversity! 1000 Shades of Color, Rogue Valley Growers & Crafters Market and Rogue Disposal & Recycling.
Schedule of events
10 a.m. — Opening ceremony
10:30 a.m. — Woodburn High School Mariachi performs Mexican folk music
11 a.m. — Sakura Bon Dance Group performs Japanese folk dance
11:30 a.m. — Plain Folk performs music from around the world
Noon — Woodburn High School Mariachi
12:45 p.m. — Na Pua o Hawai’i Nei presents Hawaiian hula dance
1:15 p.m. — Rogue Valley Alphorns perform traditional and original music of the Alps
1:55 p.m. — Ballet Folklórico Ritmo Alegre performs Mexican folk dances
2:15 p.m. — Safara Butanga: Skijah Indigo and others participate in an African drum performance
2:45 p.m. — Idena and Friends Belly Dance present American cabaret-style belly dance
3:15 p.m. — Zumba with Maggie Cervantes
3:45 p.m. — Neeta Nehra-Lakshmi presents Bollywood and Bhangra dances of India