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5 Things Multicultural

The 22nd annual Greater Medford Multicultural Fair is set to roll from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at Alba Park, across from Medford City Hall downtown.

The event, which features food, music and dancing from around the world, is organized annually by Friends of the Multicultural Fair, a project of the city of Medford’s Multicultural Commission.

To help us point readers toward some of the fair's can't-miss highlights, we asked Julie Wurth of La Clinica, one the event's sponsors, to pick five things people should see. Her suggestions are:

1. Lots of free fun for the kids. They can get their faces painted, soar in a jump house, create chalk artwork and experience styles of dancing and music they probably haven’t seen before. And most fair booths will have free kids’ activities, as well.

2. Medford photographer Mary Wilkins-Kelly, who is in the midst of an art project to collect 1,000 images of diversity in Southern Oregon, will display more than 200 images she’s already shot for the project and take new photos during the fair.

3. Hula dancers — Halau Hula o Na Pua o Hawai'i Nei — will be back again this year.

4. The Rogue Alphorn Quartet. This group of musicians uses an instrument not often seen in the Rogue Valley — the alphorn, a long, wooden tube traditionally used in the Swiss Alps. Some of these instruments are 12 feet long.

5. Food you won’t find elsewhere in one place. People will be able to buy soul food (think barbecue, collard greens, corn bread), Italian food, Filipino food, Peruvian food, handmade ice cream, pupusas (filled Salvadoran tortillas), and many treats from Mexico, including tamales and aguas frescas (fresh fruit drinks).

The schedule of events includes:

  • 10 a.m. – Opening – National anthem performed by North Medford High School band members; welcome by Medford City Council member Chris Corcoran; dancing by Native Americans (ends at 10:30)
  • 10:40 to 11:10 a.m. – Black Sheep Irish group
  • 11:15 to 11:45 a.m. – Swiss Alphorns
  • 11:50 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. – Sakura Japanese dancers
  • 12:30 to 1 p.m. – Maraval Road Steel Band
  • 1:15 to 1:45 p.m. – Halau Hula o Na Pua o Hawai’I Nei hula dancers
  • 1:45 to 2:15 p.m. – Ballet Folklorico Ritmo Alegre
  • 2:20 to 3 p.m. – Belly dancing from around the world (Idena Suzanne and Friends, Aisha’s Oasis, Shiviti Dance Co.)
  • 3:15 to 4 p.m. – Rutendo Marimba
  • 4:15 p.m. – David and Eric, Americana

The Multicultural Fair is sponsored by the Mail Tribune; Peter W. Sage – Sage Farms; Jackson Care Connect; the city of Medford; US Bank; Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Medford Parks & Recreation Foundation; La Clinica; Medford Police Department; Mustard Press Inc.; and Rogue Disposal and Recycling Inc.

For more details, see www.facebook.com/greatermedfordmulticultural.




Tamales are among the many ethnic foods that will be available at the fair. Photo / 123RF.com
A child blows bubbles at last year's Multicultural Fair. Photo by Brad Eastburn