PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – The goal of the annual Port Chester Fest has always been to bring together the multicultural populations of the village for a one-day event to showcase local artists, musicians, restaurants in a singular celebration of diversity. This year's event promises to be bigger than ever.
Five years ago, the Port Chester/Rye Town Council of Community Services conducted a series of focus groups to figure out ways the community could work better for its residents. “One of the things the residents identified was more positive events that bring the whole community together, not just specific segments. It’s the idea of having an event that celebrates diversity that does not divide, but brings people together,” said council representative Daniel Lipka.
This year’s festival on Aug. 4 will include crafts and jewelry vendors, food vendors that represent countries from around the world, workshops for kids and multicultural music performances from the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company, the Bethesda Baptist Intergenerational Church Choir, Zumba Fitness Party, Capoeira Performance Arts, Bolivian Carnival Dancers, tango musicians, along with rhythm and blues singer Curtis Winchester and Friends.
In addition, the first annual Multicultural Fashion Show, featuring local children in clothing and jewelry from their country of origin, will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Purdy Avenue.
“It’s grown every single year. We were lucky to get sponsorships from the county, but as county funds have dried up we have been able to supplement with other sponsors,” said Lipka.
For the first time, Open Door Family Medical Centers will join the celebration to provide education and screenings on a variety of health concerns, including skin safety, nutrition, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, HIV, optometry and reproductive health, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
“The idea of combining it with the health fair was about trying to be efficient and trying to get as many people to get free screenings they might otherwise not get,” said Lipka.
At noon, Open Door will present Rep. Nita Lowey (D-Harrison) with a Community Appreciation Award in recognition of her commitment to the wellbeing of the Port Chester community. The ceremony will be held at the Show Mobile located in the Stop & Shop parking lot along Purdy Avenue.
Port Chester Fest will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. outside of Open Door on Purdy Street between Church Street and Don Bosco Place. Admission to Port Chester Fest is free.
For more information about Port Chester Fest call 914-939-8055 or visit Port Chester Fest online. For information about Open Door Family Medical Centers call 914-502-1339 or visit the group’s website.