Thursday, March 26, 2009

Get Involved - Peace Parade in Allentown

The Arts Luminarium Announces
Lehigh Valley’s First International
Peace Parade, Sunday, May 17
Part of Baila Conmigo festival, parade
will showcase area’s cultural diversity
Participants welcome; deadline April 25

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (March 23, 2009) — The Lehigh Valley’s rich cultural diversity will be on display in Allentown’s first International Peace Parade, May 17. Featuring the costumes, customs, music and dance of the area’s many cultures, the Peace Parade is part of The Arts Luminarium’s “Baila Conmigo” festival, May 15-17.
All groups, representing every culture, are encouraged to participate, and participation is free. Information and a signup form are available on the Arts Luminarium website,
“The Arts Luminarium set out to create an annual festival to build bridges between different cultures,” said Pana Columbus, one of the founders of the Luminarium and chair of the International Peace Parade committee. “Just the process of creating the festival has forged many new friendships. We hope that many more cultural groups in the area will participate in the celebration.”
The deadline to register is April 25. Both official organizations and informal groups are welcome to participate.
Participants include the Kakumba Cha African Dance Ensemble, the Mexican Cultural Association, featuring Aztec dancers and Chinelos, the Hispanic American League of Artists, The CADA Youth Program, Emmanuel Church and Bernie’s Bike Brigade, featuring bicycling youth from the Seventh Street corridor. Mayor Ed Pawlowski also will appear in the parade.
Also featured: giant puppets created by Allentown artist Yodi Duane Vaden, including an enormous Chinese dragon and three giant peace doves.
The parade will begin at the Allentown Arts Park, Fifth and Linden streets, at 2 p.m. ending at Bucky Boyle Park, just beyond Front and Gordon streets. A festival at Bucky Boyle Park following the parade will feature music, food, stilt walkers from the Street Theatre Alliance, and children’s arts and crafts. Food vendors will include Chinese, Jamaican, Mexican, Italian and Puerto Rican cuisine.
A ceremony after the parade will feature members of each participating group, lighting a candle for peace and saying the word for “peace” in their native languages.
The Arts Luminarium was founded in 2007 as a temple of the arts, fostering community transformation, celebrating human experience and inspiring a culturally creative movement. A registered not-for-profit organization, the Luminarium aims to model environmental sustainability and educate through multicultural and multi-disciplinary programming.
Baila Conmigo, the Luminarium's first public event, presented in partnership with the City of Allentown Weed and Seed Program, will combine performances and presentations in dance, music, and film to highlight the vibrant and multifaceted Latino culture in the Lehigh Valley. Future events will highlight other cultural groups in the area.
“Our objectives are to build bridges within the Latino community and the community at large,” said Dr. Ethel Drayton-Craig, president of the Luminarium board of directors, “and to broaden awareness of the diversity that exists within the Valley's Latino culture and of the rich contributions that Latino culture makes to the community.”
More information about the Baila Conmigo festival and The Arts Luminarium is available at the Luminarium website,

1 comment:

Joyce Marin said...

This sounds great. I want to learn more.