The Multicultural Festival of Cape Cod has grown to the point that it expands this year into another building on the West Barnstable campus of Cape Cod Community College. The 12th annual event adds a new “immersion room” experience for the country of Ecuador, growing the festival into a third building.
This day-long event takes place Saturday, March 3 starting at 10 a.m. with the Parade of Flags in the Tilden Arts Center’s Main Theater and continues until 4 p.m. with free cultural exhibits, international vendors, and “tastes” from around the world, filling both floors of the Grossman Commons Building.
It expands into the Science Building with the immersion rooms, and fills the two Tilden Arts Center stages with entertainment from around the world. A free shuttle bus will circulate through the College’s lots all day, bringing visitors up to the center patio area between the Grossman Commons and the Tilden Arts Center.
The Festival officially begins on Thursday, March 1 with an Interfaith Service of Worship that will start at 7 p.m. this year at the Cape Cod Synagogue. The service is hosted by different faith communities each year.
The event is a multicultural expression of praise, prayer, and contemplation through music, dance, art and poetry embracing a variety of cultural and religious perspectives from around the world. Ecuador joins Greece and Brazil in giving visitors a comprehensive look at the country, its people, and culture.
These are unique immersion experiences in rooms filled with cultural artifacts and information. They take long hours to create, and are not to be missed. Ecuador’s addition means that the Festival expands into a section of the College’s Science Building adjacent to the Grossman Commons, giving Festival goers three buildings to explore throughout the day.
It is recommended that everyone start in the Lobby of the Tilden Arts Center to pick up a program schedule and map of the event’s locations. Children are encouraged to pick up their “Passport,” to be “stamped” with a special MCF sticker at display tables and vendors to be eligible for prizes at the end of the day. Entertainment begins shortly after the 10 a.m.
Parade of Flags and continues throughout the day on both levels of the Tilden Arts Center. New this year will be Cape Verdean recording artist Candida Rose from New Bedford, traditional Chinese Dance with Allison Jodoin and company from Sandwich, Wampanoag Dancer/Performer Annawon Weeden, and singer/guitarist Brewster resident Ron Williams, among others.
All performances are free, and will range from the powerful funk and song-story styles of MWALIM and the Groovalottos, to the Caribbean Diasporas: Cuba and Haiti, along with traditional dances and rhythms of Mali, Guinea, and West Africa performed by the Cape Cod African Dance and Drum ensemble. Latino Colors, Los Hijos del Sol, the Dream Tale Puppets, and dancers from Egypt and Iran return to the stage as well on March 3.
The students of the Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in Harwich produce the youth Passports, a very complex printing job that creates a unique souvenir. Attendees will enjoy exploring the country and culture of Brazil in its own immersion experience thanks to the partnership and volunteers of the Community Action Committee of Cape Cod and the Islands, CACCI.
Well over 100 volunteers will staff information tables, offer unique goods for sale, and entertain throughout the day, with all activities at no charge. The only charge is for the international fare in the College’s dining area, and those prices are kept as low as possible to encourage the public to enjoy experiences from all over the world. The café opens for coffee and light fare early in the morning, and begins serving international foods at around 11 a.m.
The event, now in its 12th year, was founded by former Barnstable Human Services Director Norma Holder Hall, and moved to the College, early in its history. It remains the largest single multicultural event in the region with broad community support.
Information from a press release by Michael Gross who is the director of communications.