Brandon has become a city with a myriad of cultures. The cultural diversity present in our town is like having a permanent multicolor rainbow fixed forever on the sky.
The signs of such richness are visible by just walking around and listening to all the languages, or by observing the different kinds of people that now populate the streets and public venues in our city. The problem is that as postmodern human beings, we do not always take time to appreciate our environment. We need time and spaces to be able to celebrate our cultural diversity.
During the annual Lieutenant Governor’s Winter Festival, some of those cultures come out and wear their best outfits, play their best shows and serve the best of foods and cheerfully celebrate our diversity. The community becomes vibrant, and cultural fraternity turns into the special of the day. What about the rest of the year? Brandon was in need of a similar opportunity to enjoy all its cultural prosperity.
That need of people to celebrate culture is the foundation of the Brandon Multicultural Summer Festival.
The festival started three years ago as an initiative of the local multicultural music group Son Latino Band. The idea was to fulfil the need of the community to have more spaces where at least for one day, multiculturalism and cultural integration could be the origin, medium and the goal.
The idea of the band was to have a free public venue where people of all ages and from all cultures could enjoy a day of community, family, music and culture. The festival was thought to be held in a free venue, close to downtown and during the summer time.
As it was expected, the idea found strong supporters among the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, with volunteers and community members taking part and making a wonderful event possible.
The festival developed during the last couple of years and this year, it will be extended to two days of celebration. During its first day on Friday, July 6, the festival will partner with the new Brandon Global Market on the corner of 12th Street and Rosser Avenue, and will provide entertainment while the public enjoys the benefits of a multicultural market.
The second day of celebration is Saturday, July 7. That day, the festival will take place at Princess Park and will have food and craft vendors, live cultural entertainment, community displays and children activities. It is a great opportunity to witness the cultural diversity that Brandon has, to merge, learn and enjoy culture and of course, to enjoy live music.
There are many ways to participate in the festival.
The event is focused in building community and strengthening culture so it is totally open for people and organizations to participate in many ways. Some of the groups that participate in the Lieutenant Governor’s Winter Festival will be raising funds at Princess Park during festival time, but there is also room for other organizations or individuals to participate as food or craft vendors with community booths or displays.
You can also volunteer for the event in many ways and of course you can participate as a performer both individually or as part of a group or band. It is the perfect day to have a marvellous mix of music and dance from any place in the world, with any style, and in any language.
If you want to participate in the festival as a performer, vendor, crafter or volunteer or if you want the festival to hire your group, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to also email if you want to sponsor the festival.
The most important thing to remember: The Brandon Multicultural Summer Festival is free and open to all ages. Music, dance, food, culture and the happiest people will be waiting for you this summer.
It is time to celebrate our community and our culture; it is time to be proud of living in Brandon.
» Jaime Chinchilla is part of Brandon’s Latin American community and a member of the popular Son Latino Band. His column appears monthly.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 26, 2012