Heritage Festival, September 20, Providence

September 26, 2008 at 2:44 pm (Freedom Festival, Heritage Days)

“We are a nation of many nationalities, many races, many religions – bound together by a single unity, the unity of freedom and equality.  Whoever seeks to set one nationality against another, seeks to degrade all nationalities.”  Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States (1933-1945)

Last Saturday, September 20, 2008, the R.I. Historic Preservation and Heritage Commission  hosted the 31st annual Heritage Day Festival on the State House lawn.  It was a spectacular fall day and I was there, sharing a table with the Heritage Harbor Museum (thanks!), distributing our Freedom Festival flyers…

Many folks stopped by to chat, find out more about the series that both commemorates the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, and also celebrates African American heritage.  I brought the fascinating books of keynote speakers, Paula J. Giddings (speaking at the Great Friends Meeting Hall (NOTE: this is a change from the original Colony House venue) in Newport, RI, on October 9th at 7:30) and Ira Berlin (speaking at the First Unitarian Church in Providence, RI, on October 16th at 8:00 pm).  I also was delighted at the wonderful variety of participants – an amazing Panamanian marching band, Chinese dragon dancers, Thai, Bolivian, India, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Korean, Irish, and many other representatives from our diverse communities. We are indeed fortunate to have the opportunity to share our cultures and traditions with each other.

PLEASE NOTE:  Our opening WaterFire “Thousand Ships” event has been postponed until NEXT Saturday, October 4th, due to the current deluge…see you on the 4th!

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