Saturday, May 21, 2016

Local Colors: Crowd Down, but Not Enthusiasm

These kids from Colombia personify the spirit of Local Colors.
Kermina Farag, 6, of Egypt.
The rain--heavy rain--threatened, the timing was completely off, the crowd was small, the number of participating countries was significantly down and it didn't look like Pearl Fu was going to make it.

But, as it turned out, the 26th edition of Roanoke's defining  event, Local Colors, came off just fine, thank you. It was not the best Local Colors and it looked like it would be the first without Pearl, who defined it for so many years, but she overcame some physical challenges and made it to the stage. Though she did not take part directly, Pearlie Mae's mere presence defied the rain gods, who dared not rain on her parade--and they damn well didn't.

The threat of rain, however, got the lion's share of blame for the smallish crowd, though the enthusiasm remained high through the day of food, dance, color and music.

I didn't get an official number of participating countries, but it appeared to be about 50, close to half of what is normal, but, again, the forecast was for heavy rain through the festival and that didn't materialize. Here is some of what it looked like.
Tara Branscom of the UK and the Union Jack.
The UK reps: Carol Salliss (Pearlie Queen), Court Jester Pam Robinson, and Vanessa and Brian Roper.
Egyptians Katherine Aziz, Phil Sawiris and Michael Aziz.
Siberian Olga Dalton.
My Viking friend Jeff Rigdon with daughter Arya, grandgirl Charlie Lee
My pal Paulette Jayabalan of Singapore.
Teenaged Colombians Cristina Tzompaxtle, Dolores Ortega, Kayla Altice.
Fernando Garcia, Gabriela Plazapte of Colombia.
Julia Gorzen, 8, of Poland.
Kanta Matea of Japan.
A bunch of these backpacks showed up.
Australia lumbers through.
Michelle Bolton holds the flag.
Brit Carol Salliss and her pal, Winston.
Didn't get this Lithuanian beauty's name.
Yolanda Rodriguez Puyana and Mexico
Barets and horizontal stripes must mean France.
Roanoke has a large, growing Napalese community.
Napal forever!
The Germans just kept singing (where's the beer?).
Carol Dillon of the Philippines.
13-year-old Anthony Gorzen, a Polish knight.
An overview of the festivities.

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