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Courtesy photo.




11th annual Concord Multicultural Festival

When: Saturday, June 24, 2 to 6:30 p.m.
Where: New Hampshire State House, 107 N. Main St., Concord
Cost: Free
Visit: concordnhmulticulturalfestival.org




World voices
Dozens of nations represented at Multicultural Festival

06/22/17
By Matt Ingersoll listings@hippopress.com



 New Hampshire’s Capital City will once again celebrate its ethnic diversity at the Concord Multicultural Festival, with live performances and international foods, plus, new this year, a flag parade and “Artisan Alley.”

The 11th annual event will be held on Saturday, June 24, from 2 to 6:30 p.m. on the Statehouse Lawn. This is the second year the festival has partnered with Intown Concord’s annual Market Days Festival, held just down the road on Main Street.
Multicultural Festival Director Jessica Livingston said more than 30 different cultures will be represented at the event. 
“It’s always a fun thing to showcase everybody’s culture and for the community to gather and get to know one another, and things like food and music are universal,” she said.
The idea to have an outdoor festival stemmed from a 2004 community discussion presented by the Greater Concord Area Task Force Against Racism and Intolerance (now called We Are Concord) as a way to welcome new residents from other countries.
Participating local organizations include New American Africans, the Bhutanese Community of New Hampshire, Latinos Unidos de New Hampshire, the Greater Concord Interfaith Council and many others.
Live music and dance performances will be held throughout the duration of the festival on the Statehouse plaza, Livingston said, and include contra dancing with fiddler Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki, Native American drumming by the Black Thunder Singers, Highland dancing by the New Hampshire School of Scottish Arts, West African drumming by Sayon Camara, Colombian salsa dancing by Concord resident Sindy Chown and a performance by Nepali singer Berain Rasaily.
Visit the Statehouse lawn during the festival for “Artisan Alley,” a new feature presented by the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. 
There will be hands-on activities like Chinese calligraphy and paper-cutting, Abenaki basket making, Russian wooden nesting dolls and more.
Also on the lawn will be karate demonstrations by the Penacook School of Martial Arts, Native American storytelling and games with the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum in Warner and more.
For food, enjoy traditionally made cuisines from dozens of different world cultures. Go Food Basket in Concord will serve a Korean barbecue with meat dumplings, Jahp-che, Bibimbap and Bulgogi. Aissa Sweets, owned by Syrian baker Ahmad Aissa, will serve baklava, phyllo wraps and date- and raspberry-filled cookies. Other individual vendors will be serving an African cassava beef stew, Rwandan rice, beef and sweet potatoes, and Turkish lentil balls, potato salad and pastries.
New to this year’s festival is an International Flag Parade, which will kick off at 1:45 p.m. at the intersection of Pleasant and Main streets before traveling to the Statehouse.
“We’ll have 37 flags that people will carry representing each of the nations that you will see featured in the festival through the food or performances,” Livingston said. “Obviously Market Days is going to be going on down on Main Street, so we’re hoping this will be another added celebration.”
She said volunteers will continue to be welcomed through the day of the festival to help out with vendor setups and breakdowns, food preparation and other duties.
“There’s always stuff to do, and we’re looking for ways for the community to participate,” she said. “That’s really what [the festival] is all about, is building your community.” 





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