On Saturday, May 6, the eighth annual Celebration of Cultures was held in Downtown Bel Air. The Celebration of Cultures is organized each spring to honor the many cultures that call Harford County home. This year’s event took place from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. along Main Street, at the Bel Air Armory, and at the Bel Air Library. Activities included cultural performances by such groups as Mariachi Sunrise, Kilcoyn Dancers, Filipino American Association of Upper Chesapeake Dancers, Elio Scaccio, and Bailes de mi Tierra, local artisans, crafts, family entertainment, ethnic foods, demonstrations, music, and dancing. The day culminated at the Bel Air Library with dance performances Dance with Me studios and an indoor showing of “The BFG (Big Friendly Giant)” and free popcorn, provided by the Downtown Alliance and the Bel Air Lions Club.
New to this year’s Celebration of Cultures, several local restaurants designed special cultural tasting menus just for the event. Attendees could purchase a tasting and sample a variety of international foods and cuisines. Another exciting new feature of the Celebration of Cultures was the Event Passport Program. Attendees were encouraged to pick up a “passport” during the event at the Bel Air Armory, Bel Air Library or one of the three craft stations set up on Main Street and earn “stamps” by participating in activities throughout the day. Guests who obtained five or more stamps on their passports during the event were eligible to win a family prize basket. Over 500 passports were distributed to families during the event.
Harford County’s 2017 Celebration of Cultures’ Committee included representatives from LASOS, the Harford County Human Relations Commission, the Town of Bel Air, the Bel Air Downtown Alliance, the Harford County Public Library, and Visit Harford.
“We are deeply grateful to all of the volunteers, the committee members and organizations, the performers, our restaurant partners and our generous sponsors for their support,” said Melynda Velez “We hope to continue to be able to showcase the wonderful cultures of our county and grow the event each year.”
The Harford County Cultural Arts Board, APG Federal Credit Union, Jones Junction, McComas Funeral Homes, Visit Harford, Harford Mutual, Crave Culture, and the Society of Italian American Businessmen sponsored the family-friendly, all-day event. Participating restaurants included Black Eyed Suzie’s, Buontempo Brothers, Independent Brewing Co., Looney’s Pub, MaGerk’s Pub & Grill, Margherita’s, One Eleven Main, Savona, Sean Bolan’s Sunny Day Café, Main Street Tower and Vagabond Sandwich Co. Also, a special thanks to the LASOS Butterfly’s Group and Girl Scout Troop 101 for helping with the craft stations, and the Harford County Office of Community Services for all of their support.
For more information about the Celebration of Cultures or LASOS (Linking All So Others Succeed) please contact Melynda Velez at 4108360333