ethnic festival

Diamond Park will be the scene of a real “ethnipalooza” this weekend as Meadville’s AM and Noontime Rotary clubs showcase the rich cultural heritage of Meadville and its surrounding communities. The second annual Ethic Festival will keep things hopping around the park Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We’re so excited,” Nancy Manning, the event’s co-chairperson, said Tuesday.

She isn’t alone.

“I love these events,” Meadville’s city clerk, Janet Niedermeyer, agreed, noting that the permit application for the Ethnic Festival has been on file since January.

The roadway surrounding Diamond Park will be closed along the Crawford County Courthouse (eastern) side from Chestnut to Walnut Street and on the western side from West Center Street to Chestnut.

Whether you’re longing for foreign fare like an authentic Greek gyro or a taste of Americana including pulled taffy made on-site, the Ethnic Festival is the place to be. But food isn’t the only part of the area’s ethnic heritage in the festival’s spotlight. Nonstop entertainment includes an Irish band and Irish step dancers, the Greek Olympic Dancers of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, Tsunami Dancers and Polish dancers, to name just a few.

For awhile, it looked like Hurricane Gustav would be having an impact on the Meadville area, too. Fortunately, however, a popular Erie band, Loose Change, was able to replace the previously-announced Second Marine Aircraft Wing Band, which had to cancel the performance in the wake of Gustav. According to Manning, Loose Change presents a variety of music from pop to swing to country to bluegrass — something for everyone.

Entertainment, however, isn’t the only live action. Artisans including a chainsaw cutter, a maple-syrup maker and even a bow maker will be working; Crawford County Historical Society will have a large, three-part display on display and live alpacas will be on hand. And then there are the big, inflatable rides and lots of games for kids — and a few surprises for adults, Manning said with a grin.





Saturday’s entertainment includes:

n 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Hotel Charlie

n 1 to 1:30 — Allegro Dance Studio

n 1:30 to 3:30 — County Mayo Irish band

n 3:30 to 3:45 — Tsunami Dancers

n 3:45 to 4:45 — Cootie Harris Tai Chi and Drum Circle

n 4:45 to 5 — Tsunami Dancers

n 5 to 6 — Irish Step Dancers

n 6 to 7 — Olympic Dancers of Diocese of Pittsburgh (Greek)

n 7:30 to 9:30, Loose Change

On Sunday, it includes:

n 11:30 a.m. to noon — Amanda the Lady Piper

n noon to 2 p.m. — Mahoning Valley Button Box Band

n 2 to 2:30 — Wiwaty Polish Dancers

n 2:30 to 3 — Amanda the Lady Piper

n 3 to 4:30 — Emil and the Palookas



n More information: Call Manning at 336-5051.

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