Clarena Montesdeoca and Angela Alvarez, right, representing Colombia during the festival. Choral Director Kirby Treadaway leads the Hickory Ridge High School Legacy Singers to open Saturday’s festival. Harrisburg Mayor Steve Sciascia lights the ceremonial lamp as part of the opening festivities. Students perform Ganesh Vandana, a traditional Indian song. Volunteers and students perform Ganesh Vandana, a traditional Indian song. Volunteers hold flags of the countries represented at Saturday’s cultural festival. Volunteers hold flags of the countries represented at Saturday’s cultural festival. Mayor Steve Sciascia accepts a plaque from Jitendra “Jeet” Hiremath, one of the main festival organizers. Simran Arora, a freshman at Hickory Ridge High School, assists Dede K. Sama at the Togo educational booth. Simran Arora with the informational chart she created for Togo. Lillian El Hani and her son, Sami, at the Morocco booth. Some of the items on display at the Morocco table. Sreeya Chebrolu, a sophomore at Hickory Ridge High School, receives a henna tattoo from Lubabah Yousef. A closeup of the henna tattoo. Mariam Matin, Siya Parmar and Prerana Kulla, from left, oversee the educational booth for Egypt. Indian art. Saraswoti Neupane sorts beads at the Nepal booth. Phadindra Neupane with a Nepalese singing bowl. Phadindra Neupane shows the mayor how to play a Nepalese singing bowl. Anusuya Acharya, 9, tries on a traditional Hmong hat. Envi Cole oversees the Sierra Leone educational booth. Volunteer Joshua Crisp with an Asian umbrella. Nonit Nanda picks up his traditional Indian food from the Marathi Masala food truck. Jay and Amy Lehyeh man their Jaymee’s Cajun Shawarma booth. The festival will be an annual tradition.
Saturday’s inaugural Harrisburg MultiCultural Festival featured live music, dancing, educational booths, food trucks, and other activities designed to educate and entertain. Twenty countries were represented by hundreds of volunteers. Organizers say the event, which they plan to make an annual tradition, was intended to spread understanding about different ethnicities, and overcome common cultural misconceptions.
PHOTOS BY FRANK S. COSTANZA