Monday, April 7, 2008

Multicultural Fair

I don’t think I can adequately explain why I love UMW’s Multicultural Fair so much, or why I start obsessively checking the weather forecast a week ahead of time. I only know that on Saturday morning, when I arrived on campus at 10:30 and saw the tents set up on Ball Circle and along Campus Walk, I was elated.

Attending this event is a long standing tradition in our family since our kids were little. It’s a great family event, with lots of children’s activities, and plenty of room for them to run around. There are three venues for music and dance going on simultaneously, so there’s always something of interest, from jazz and gospel to reggae and world music, from African and Asian dance troupes to belly dancers and country western line dancers. As always, the “crafts” are a mixed bag, with more business ventures than artisans, but I’m always able to pick up my annual pair of handcrafted earrings. And the whole scene is scented with the smells of the food vendors churning out ethnic and carnival-style street food. But I think the reason I love it so much is just the crowd—college students mixed with locals, lots of young families, and plenty of the artsy liberal aging hippie types (my kind of people). People who think a celebration of diversity is a good thing, not an irritation.

The scene in front of Trinkle Hall:

There were a couple of these big smokers on Ball Circle, filling the air with the scent of grilling meat:

We chose the Jamaican stand...

for this fried trout with sweet potato fries:

Mystic Vibrations, a reggae band:

Girl on stilts, entertaining the crowd:

Unusual twisty-wire figures:

A Hawaiian shave ice treat, complete with palm tree decor:

No cloggers this year, but I took this photo of Black Hats & Diamonds, the country & western "performance dance team" for my daughter. So she doesn't forget her roots.

Even James Farmer was in a festive mood:


Anonymous said...

Hello. Actually, this is a question for you as I saw that you blogged about Culpeper back in January. My family and I are going to be in Fredericksburg next week and have friends that live in Culpeper. Do you know if there is somewhere halfway between the two that we could meet them for dinner? Thanks for reading this.

Merry N said...

There really isn’t much of anything between Fredericksburg and Culpeper. Locust Grove is about halfway, and there are fast food places there, and a couple of restaurants (Roadsters, Clearwater Grill on Rt. 3--both sports bars, I think) that I’ve never been to, nor ever heard of anyone who ate there. I found this review in the local paper for Robinson's, a restaurant 4 miles off of Rt. 3 that might work (keep in mind the Free Lance Star reviewers seem to give everyone “pretty good” reviews, so you can’t really tell that much from this):

Consider driving the extra way to meet and eat in Culpeper—once you get out of Fredericksburg’s suburban sprawl, it’s a pleasant drive, and downtown Culpeper is a sweet little town to spend an afternoon in. And your friends could recommend a favorite restaurant there.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for responding to my question! We are traveling from upstate New York, so I guess I was just looking for ways to minimize time in the car. I appreciate your suggestions and will look into them. Thanks again.