Festival showcases Tallahassee’s diversity

Performance by Hartsfield Elementary Chorus. Photo by Kasherah Reynolds

It was a sight to behold. Different  cultures journeyed through the diverse art of world traditions to introduce values and heritage into the community.

It all happened when Good Samaritan United Methodist Church hosted its third annual World Culture Festival on Saturday, celebrating the variety of faiths and cultures through live performances, food and art.

The World Culture Festival gives people of all ages the opportunity to experience various religious and cultural beliefs through hands-on interactions. Craft vendors, food trucks and informational tables are also displayed to bring awareness of the different customs and food offered around the world.

The Hartsfield Elementary Schools Chorus, the Melodic Stepping Experience and Gym Force Aerial along with many other cultural performers wowed the crowd.  The Hot Pepper Steppers and Runaway Biscuits showcased their heritage and values with a crowd interaction filled with clogging, a type of folk dance performed with wooden shoes.

With a Lion King themed performance, the Melodic Stepping Experience, a community-based step team exhibited the African culture with dancing, stepping and acting.

Sydney McTier, a member of the Melodic Stepping Experience, expressed her affection for the family-oriented environment and free-spirited individuals she encountered.

“It exposes cultures to other cultures they have not seen before. Everyone is open to meeting new people which makes the event more entertaining.”

McTier also enjoyed the food selections presented by King Konch, a food vendor offering variations of Caribbean food.

“King Konch gave me a taste of South Florida as it reminded me of the Caribbean food back home. The food was very mouthwatering,” she said.

Lakeemah Richardson, CEO of Essence Glow and Grow, said she was more than grateful for the exposure WCF brought to her company. She was one of many vendors showcasing a selection of exclusive artistry.

“The World Culture Festival helps promote my products with the different cultures of people to see what we have to offer. All-natural products, ancient remedies are what I like to call them are the products we have available,” she said.

Betsy Oullette-Zierden, senior pastor, was overjoyed with the amount of love and smiling faces on campus.

“My favorite part is all of it,” Zierden said. “Many people are unaware of the many different cultures that we have represented in the city of Tallahassee. Our neighbors are from different places and they have different talents. It’s a very neat mishmash.”

Zierden looks forward to next year’s event as she anticipates bringing back performers from this year and more for the upcoming year.