Westcott Street Cultural Fair celebrates diversity and the arts

Westcott Street Cultural Fair celebrates diversity and the arts

Westcott Street Cultural Fair highlights need for diversity through its rich culture.
Published: September 23, 2018 | Updated: October 31st, 2018 at 11:04 am
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A yellow shirt-clad instructor from Wacheva's Dancing and Drumming Group leads participants through a Zumba dance on the Harvard Dance Stage at the 27th annual Westcott Street Cultural Fair. Wacheva is an organization that "presents and supports multicultural dance, drum, and fitness programming in the Central New York community," according to their website.

 

Standing outside the Westcott Community Center wearing a yellow cultural fair T-shirt and wielding a bullhorn, Kelly Maher directed parade participants to line up and let each group know when it was their turn to progress down the street.

Today at noon, the 27th annual Westcott Street Cultural Fair kicked off with a lively parade consisting of people from Refugee and Immigrant Self-Empowerment (RISE) Syracuse, First Unitarian Universalist, Open Hand Theatre, the Unity Street Band and anyone else who wanted to participate.

 

 

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Marisa Guzman and Anna Elise of Alegre Flamenco perform a traditional Sevillana partners dance on the Harvard Dance stage at the Westcott Street Fair on September 23, 2018.
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Lula and Dave Atherton dance as the Funky Blu Roots perform on the WAER Center Stage. The Athertons, who have been married for 40 years, came back to Syracuse for the fair.

 

There were people dressed like the knights of fairy tales, battling with their swords in the streets of Syracuse, some dressed in bright colors and playing happy tunes on a variety of instruments like kazoos, as well as a young boy who towered over the crowd on stilts taller than he was. Even Senate hopeful Rachel May was somewhere in the crowd.

“There is never a specific theme for the parade, it’s all about celebrating the cultural diversity of the neighborhood,” she said. “Everyone is welcome.”

 

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Dancers from Light of the World Christian Ballet Company perform a scene from a work called Polaroid Portraits at the Westcott Cultural Fair.
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Rhea Acuna and Helena Vayna watch performers from the Wacheva Cultural Arts Center from their roof across the street from the Westcott Street Fair. The two friends were taking a study break and wanted to see what was happening outside.

 

The Westcott Street Cultural fair is a one-day celebration of diversity that combines arts and crafts, live performances, food and complimentary items for fair goers.

The fair featured six different stages for performances and rows upon rows of booths with those selling their creations or handing out information about their businesses or organizations.

 

 

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Two-year-old Imogen Rawlins tries on a lion costume along with two other children at the “Kid’s Corner” of the Westcott Street Cultural Fair.
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Kristof Pytlak, who operates KP Art Studios & Honey Bee Farm, takes his business on the road, selling jars of raw honey outside at the Westcott Street Cultural Fair.
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The Jess Novak Band rock the WAER Center Stage at the Westcott Street Fair. The band played a host of original material and covers, including a hard hitting rendition of Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child."

 

Artists, crafters and nonprofits had their booths set up all around–over 100 in total.

Though they didn’t have actual booths, many restaurants in the Westcott neighborhood offered a variety of food from gyros to corn on a stick.

“This is awesome,” said fair goer Jo Allen. “I didn’t quite know what to expect, but it definitely wasn’t this. I even got a free toy for my cat, Pekoe.”

The streets around the fair were blocked off to ensure the safety of those attending the fair, but reopened at 7:30 pm after the festivities had ended.

 

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Westcott Street residents gathered on the sidewalk and sat in their lawn chairs with their pets as fair-goers walked toward the Westcott Cultural Fair.
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Grupo Pagan, a latino rock band based in Syracuse, NY, rocks the stage at the Westcott Fair.
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A man, who would only give the name of “Sir Quala,” wears an Irish-themed hat during the Westcott Cultural Fair.
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