Ethnic Fest this weekend

More than 50,000 persons are expected to crowd Tacoma’s Wright Park on July 24-25 for the 18th annual Ethnic Fest. The popular free event celebrates Pierce County’s rich cultural diversity.

As in past years, Ethnic Fest 2004 will feature music, ethnic dance, food, arts and crafts and an International Fun Zone for the kids. People representing an array of cultural, ethnic and age groups will gather at the downtown area park from throughout the Pacific Northwest. From noon to 7 p.m. both days, celebrants will be able to enjoy continuous live music, including blues, jazz, world fusion, Celtic and gospel. Performers also will present comedy, magic and traditional ethnic dance performances on three stages.

More than 20 international food vendors and 50 import arts and handcrafts booths transform the park into an international marketplace with accompanying sights, sounds and smells.

Children will enjoy the big red-and-white Hands-On Tent sponsored by Metro Parks. They can create their own wearable art, try their hand at table games, and have their faces painted. This year, children will be invited to contribute to the Kid’s Flag Project by helping to build an enormous American flag.
Children will create and label their own star with their names and then attach them to the flag. At the end of the summer, the flag will be placed on display as a tribute to America.

The participation of more than 60 Pierce County community service agencies is a unique feature of Ethnic Fest. Information tables for each of these organizations give fest-goers opportunities to learn about vital and valuable resources that are available.