Multicultural Fest on Tap for ’14

To celebrate the region’s cultural diversity, the Wheeling YWCA and Black Heritage Festival Committee are teaming up to create a brand new event – the Ohio Valley Multicultural Festival.

The new festival will essentially expand the original Black Heritage Festival to include people of all ethnic groups and not just minorities, said festival Chairman Bill Brooks. This also is why the name of the festival has been changed.

YWCA Executive Director Lori Jones said the Y in the past has held a similar event at its Chapline Street location, but on a much smaller scale. Now, however, the Ohio Valley Multicultural Festival will be held at Heritage Port in Wheeling. The inaugural event is slated for June 29, 2014.

”We wanted to get more people involved and celebrate all cultures in the Ohio Valley,” Jones said.

Since the Y annually receives a donation from the original festival, Jones said collaborating on the new event made sense. The committee is looking for people with more ideas and is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Sept. 11 at the YWCA.

For more information, call Jones at 304-232-0511 or Brooks at 740-695-3639.

”I want it to be a day that all cultures can come together and have a nice day in the park. … The festival will be free to the public and celebrate diversity with a smorgasbord of food, artists and performers,” Brooks said. ”The aim of the multicultural festival is to bring together a variety of cultures and ethnic groups, showcasing artistic performances, traditional music and dance. We feel this will be a real melting pot of fun.”