Multi-Cultural Festival enjoys first full day

PARKERSBURG – For a second day, City Park was filled with sights, sounds and smells from around the world Saturday during the 18th annual Mid-Ohio Valley Multi-Cultural Festival, which concludes today.

Jennifer Randolph, a festival board of directors member and website manager, said the biggest change for the 2013 edition was the addition of the Arts In Motion Stage featuring a number of local performers and demonstrations.

Overall, Randolph said the free festival featured more entertainers this year compared to previous years.

“We definitely have more entertainers this year,” she said. “We have many things available this year, we have also expanded children’s activities.”

In addition to the annual drum making activity, organizers added a hula hoop making workshop with Angie Iafrate. Participants in that workshop took to the AIM Stage to show their hoops and skills later Saturday afternoon.

Randolph said other activities include stained glass making, unique hair braiding and an all-ages hoop jam.

Today’s activities include a magician and a “History Alive” presentation with Joseph Bundy portraying abolitionist Martin Delaney. The AIM Stage activities will conclude at 4 p.m. with Professor Phineas T. Bubblemaker, also known as John Gradwohl Jr., technical director for the Parkersburg Actors Guild.

Another attraction is the second year for the International Boulevard, which was open Saturday and today.

“We are trying to grow this and get more people involved,” Randolph said. “We want more people in the community to host the booths and display the things of their culture.”

Randolph said the interaction and the opportunity to learn about other cultures is the festival’s goals.

“It’s about getting to know the people of your community and appreciating the cultures that make up this community,” she said. “We just have a lot more outreach in people wanting to be involved.”