Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival to host 21st annual event

Photo courtesy of Celebrate Nashville

Centennial Park in Nashville will host the 21st annual Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The free event offers a wide range of music, dance, food and activities for all ages.

One-in-six Nashvillians is foreign-born, according to Celebrate Nashville’s website. The organization claims that the cultural festival is not only an opportunity to better understand Nashville’s diverse population but also a “reminder of what makes Nashville a great place to live.”

“A festival provides an opportunity for the 50 cultures present in Middle Tennessee to participate as performers, small business owners, entrepreneurs, nonprofits, service-related organizations and artists,” said Cindy Politte, the executive director for Celebrate Nashville Inc.

During the festival, 60 musical acts will perform on five different stages around the park. Politte said she is especially excited that this year’s festival will have Native American representation.

“For years, we’ve been trying to get Native American representation at the festival,” Politte said. “We found a group of dancers in Oklahoma … Their Native American Indian Association is actually funding part of their travel expenses and accommodations here in Nashville so that they can come and dance and perform at the festival.”

Politte also mentioned that the festival will include traditional Japanese dance, indigenous Mexican dance and the festival’s finale, a Kurdish band called Arkan Doski.

“That’s something not to be missed if you’ve not heard Kurdish music and not seen everyone dancing (and) holding hands,” Politte said. “It’s really incredible to watch.”

This year’s festival will feature over 50 food vendors who have been encouraged to offer samples of their dishes. Politte said that the festival will also debut a beer garden sponsored by Musician’s Corner, which is a program that supports emerging artists in Nashville.

“This is the perfect place to try something new, to hear some new music, to talk to somebody who’s different (and) learn more about our community,” Politte said.

Celebrate Nashville will have separate activity areas for children and teens who attend the festival. In years past, the children’s area has included activities hosted by various cultural groups, as well as Urban Green Lab and the Frist Center for Visual Arts. A group from Nashville’s Oasis Center organizes the teens area, called TEENS United, which features a community art mural, yard games and performances.

Centennial Park will be closed to cars during the festival, but Politte said free parking and shuttle services are available at nearby lots.

For more information about Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival, click here.

To contact News Editor Andrew Wigdor, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com.

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