Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Day for Celebrating Our Differences in Roanoke

Uncle Sam and Lady Liberty (the green one, not Pearl Fu) led the Parade of Nations.^

Diane Elliott leads the Native American contingency.^

Jeffrey Rigdon looks sufficiently fierce as a Viking. He's a teddy bear.^

Bangladesh is represented here, quite well, I'll venture.^

This 15-year-old Honduran sang the national anthem and it didn't sound like "Star Search" warbling. Good for you, kid.^

Young Bangladeshis await their turn.^

River Laker hangs on to the English flag.^

Sorry, I don't recall which country this youngster represents, but she was pleasant.^

Kenya meets Honduras.^

These Irish boys look like they're either on the way to a soccer war or an IRA meeting.^

Japan at its best.^

These red shoes belong ...^

... to the Dutch boy, here with his wife.^

More Japan. Relaxed.^

France gives a fetching smile that melts American men.^

Finland is a flag-waver.^

Walk like an Egyptian. Or just look like one.^

Lithuania had pigtails ...^

... and square hats.^

Another smile from Kenya.^

These Japanese gals put their fans to good use on a hot day.^

OK, she's not a country. She's a galaxy.^

Red rarely looked so good as it did on these Hawaiians.^

These Bangladeshi women are watching their kids dance.^

Here are the kids (above) and a little Greek girl to wrap it up (below).^

Roanoke's best festival, Local Colors, played before thousands of people today and many of those in attendance were not only spectators, but also served as "talent."

Local Colors is a celebration is the parts that, when melted in a large pots, make Americans. What started 20 years ago--by Pearl Fu--with two different nations being represented (Pearl representing China) has grown unofficially to more than 90 these days. Some of that number were not in the Parade of Nations (three little girls from Samolia, for example, didn't want to march by themselves, but they certainly count).

Pearl's vision remains a good one: a small Southern city that celebrates diversity as if it were a large west coast metropolis. That's progress. Here, in 26 photographs, is what some of it looked like (and you'll note that I didn't even get around to the marvelous food).


  1. Awww looks like such an awesome day! I look forward to this every year but we just got back in from Baltimore and wanted to just chill out at home so we missed it. Next year, for sure.

  2. Terrific photos, Dan.
    P.S. The English contingent grew by 50% this year - 3 of us in the parade!

  3. Thank you Dan for your excellent coverage of Local COlors.You captured not only the beautiful images but you feel the passion and mission of Local COlors.
    We are so lucky to have you in ROanoke!