For the first time ever the St. James community will be hosting a multi-cultural festival. The fiesta is expected to attract most if not all of the St. James community as people come to celebrate different cultures and the St. James community in general. The first annual Multicultural Fiesta will be held in downtown St James on Saturday, September 16 from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m.

This fiesta comes after a group was recently formed in May called “uniting cultures” which is a group of people who hope to make big impacts on the community. “Uniting Cultures,” consists of several like-minded people in the St. James area wanting to bring together the community – to get to know one another and to learn from one another. Many of the group's members came together for the first time in May, at the Forum on Race, sponsored by Region 9 and the YWCA. As a result of those conversations, and a follow-up brainstorming session, the group identified a number of initiatives to implement in the St James area.

The Multicultural Fiesta is the first of these initiatives to be implemented, and the group plans to make it an annual event. Generous contributions of time by many individuals, and financial, as well as in-kind contributions from area organizations, businesses, and corporations in the St James area are making this inaugural event possible. The planning group appreciates the generosity of contributions received to date from Convivencia Hispana, Culligan, Downs Food Group, East Sveadahl Church, First National Bank, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Institutional Diversity from MSU, Las Americas, Latinos Oreo, Mayo Clinic Health System-St. James, Pioneer Bank, Rotary Club, Smithfield Foods, True Value/Radio Shack- Verizon, as well as the fiscal assistance provided by the St. James Area Foundation and Community Education. All donors will be recognized in the printed program at the event. 

The event takes place on the date that Latin American countries celebrate their independence from Spain, and is designed to recognize and celebrate the diverse cultural heritage of the people living in this area. All those attending the event will be invited to mark the country or countries of their heritage on a world map, and flags of many of those countries will adorn the space. 

For the full story turn to the 9-14 print edition of the Plaindealer