The first weekend in July there is a wonderful festival in our riverfront park. It’s called the “World Beat Festival“. The event showcases the diverse cultures found in our city and includes dragon boat races on the Willamette River. Salem appears to be a pretty “white bread” community, so I’m always surprised to find so many different cultures represented at the festival – each booth staffed by people who live and work in our community and who enrich it with their traditions. There are hand woven baskets, scarves, hats, blankets, skirts, carvings, flowers, and musical instruments showcasing over 65 cultures. And you can enjoy all forms of musical entertainment on small stages scattered throughout the park or on the large stage in the amphitheater.
This was the first year I can remember when it rained….usually it’s blisteringly hot, but then it is Oregon. But that didn’t stop any of us – even the dogs – from enjoying the beat of the music and the fragrant smells from the food booths.
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