Alton Main Street is planning a new cultural celebration aptly named “Small Town – Big World” that will feature a variety of activities that represent the diverse community.
The daylong event is planned for March 18.
The organization is currently lining up multiple host venues and inviting the public to get involved by contributing elements of ethnic cuisine, traditional clothing, world music, dance performances, visual art, martial arts, sports, handicrafts and more.
“We have gotten feedback from many people in the community that they would like to see a big multicultural celebration take place in Alton,” said Sara McGibany, executive director of Alton Main Street, “For the last few years I have been fortunate to work with my friend Allen Collins, helping in small ways with the dining event that he organizes for the community. I asked if he would be interested in building on his event by inviting other venues to participate as well.”
Kicking off the festivities will be the fourth annual “Nations of the World Dining Event,” a luncheon at Deliverance Temple that will start at 1 p.m. Collins will introduce families to delicious cuisines from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, while simultaneously teaching about formal dining etiquette, higher educational opportunities, family activities and valuable community resources that are available in the River Bend. Collins has operated a youth mentoring and tutoring program called Art of Universal Language since 2011, volunteering his time every first and third Saturday of the month to teach children about art, music, technology and other life skills.
This informative international dining event is open to the public, and anyone who is interested in contributing to or attending the meal may contact Collins at (618) 540-2265 or [email protected] for more information. Free admission to the speaker presentation and musical, tickets for the meal are $2 for youth and $15 per adult.
A map with a schedule of events will direct participants on a self-guided experience. Community members who would like to contribute in any way to the celebration are encouraged to contact Alton Main Street at (618) 463-1016 or [email protected] Performances and exhibits will be grouped in appropriate venues, and scheduled based on mutual availability.
“Just with a limited amount of outreach in this early stage, we have already made contact with people who would like to represent Japan, Guatemala, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, the Caribbean and many African Nations,” said Cody Hinkle, AMS Board member and chairperson of the event, “We are looking forward to this exciting day of unity for our community.”
— From the Illinois Business Journal