Lake Oswego set to celebrate multiculturalism during new event
The city of Lake Oswego is hoping to recreate the kind of bustling and eclectic market you might find while traveling abroad during the upcoming Cultural Xchange, according to organizer Jamie Inglis.
"The goal is to highlight as many cultures as possible and all the incredible talent within those communities," she said.
The city's first annual Cultural Xchange event will feature representation from many cultures and nationalities — including Japan, China, West Africa, Polynesia, Hawaii, Mexico, Scotland, Vietnam and Native American — as well as dance, music, food vendors, nonprofit organizations and more from 12-8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18 at Millennium Plaza Park.
"LO is a community of global residents, and we're lucky to bring together so many local musicians, artisans and others all sharing and celebrating their cultural heritage. Big thanks go to the City team for working with our community partners to put this not-to-miss event together," Lake Oswego Mayor Joe Buck wrote via email.
Some acts Inglis mentioned included Anavai O Te Ora, a dance group that displays Tahitian culture, Portland Taiko, which performs Japanese taiko drumming, and Clan Macleay Pipe Band, which was founded in 1912 and is one of the oldest bagpipe bands in North America.
Headliners for the event include Jujuba — an Afrobeat and Juju ensemble featuring Nigerian master drummer Nojeem Lasisi, a West African and Cuban percussion section as well as horn and rhythm sections — and Ron Artis II, a blues, funk and soul artist.
"He's (Artis) going to be a really exceptional performer to bring to the community," Inglis said.
As for food vendors, Inglis noted Cho Wines owned by an Asian American couple, Don Felipe Choriza — which sells Mexican and Latin American chorizo — and Rainbow Ice Cream, a shop founded in Mexico and located in Cornelius. Artists include Himanja, owned by a Lake Oswego jeweler and Hawaian native, and Indigenous storyteller/artist Jonni Ketcher.
Participating groups include Respond to Racism and the Lake Oswego Chinese Council.
"There will be all kinds of organizations that further missions of different cultures and further diversity, equity and inclusion," Inglis said.
Inglis further added that White Lotus Dragon & Lion Dance, the largest dragon and lion dance team in Oregon, will perform.
Inglis said the event will include two stages and look similar to the regular Lake Oswego Farmers' Market.
"It's an opportunity to really celebrate all that makes the world such a cool place to live and the cultures throughout the community, and to get an opportunity to foster relationships with different cultures and allow families to build appreciation with kids for different cultures and celebrate unique facets throughout the world," she said.
For more information on the event, visit www.ci.oswego.or.us/parksrec/2022-cultural-xchange.
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