Hundreds gathered in the park for the festival, which uses music, dance, puppetry and art to tell the story of the region, its cultures and the waterways that surround the people who have migrated there from all over the world. This year's festival highlighted African, Cambodian and Chinese immigrants.
Mitrahina held some of the children's hands and danced alongside them in front of a large banner emblazoned with the words "
"It's an honor to be here and share that history," Mitrahina said. "Oshun represents the abundance of the river and waters around. It represents all the people, and all people coming together, just like all rivers come together and fuse together. We look at people as the love of humanity and that brings all people together just like the rivers bring the abundance of water to us."
The festival was founded in 2011 by
"As I looked around, I fell in love with the diversity -- the natural diversity as well as the cultural diversity," she said. "That's rare in many of the places I've been. I thought we should be doing something to say how wonderful all of this is."
McClellan felt the region's diversity should be celebrated with a festival that has become a collaborative effort among community artists, musicians, students,
McClellan said 75 to 100 people participated in putting on this year's festival. One of them is
"We want to celebrate community and cultural diversity, and we wanted something that brought people together," Qualls said. "It's a wonderful community event."
Friends and families settled into lawn chairs and sprawled out on blankets on the grass just north of
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