Saturday, May 15, 2010

Pearlie May's Big Day in Roanoke

A radiant Pearl Fu arrives at the festival she founded 20 years ago, dressed as Lady Liberty.^

Mayor David Bowers and rough-hewn Celtic hooligan pull Pearl's rick-shaw.^

Pearl shows off her torch, which she used as a wand.^

The Lord Mayor, the Celtic hooligan and our buddy Jeffrey the Viking Rigdon (wh0 my granddaughter fell in love with) pull Pearl onto the stage. The rick-shaw was heavy.^

The Mayor and Jeffrey help Pearlie to her seat.^

Pearl, Maddie and me catch a moment.^

My dear pal Pearl Fu, the Princess of Roanoke, was deeply within her element today as thousands of people showed up in Elmwood Park to help her celebrate her baby as it enters its third decade: the 20th anniversary of Local Colors. This event, in my opinion, is the premier festival in Roanoke, one that has not given over its soul to the gods of profit (as have Festival in the Park, the Strawberry Festival and the Chili Festival, its chief rivals.)

This one is about the complete and unencumbered celebration of our many and varied heritages, something the xenophobes in Arizona would likely boycott. There was little but full-tilt celebration today in Roanoke, though, following Pearl's enlightened and enlightening lead.

Pearl, as has been said so many times (but never enough), outshines Roanoke's star and I was tickled when she put her arm around my granddaughter and taught her to say xiexie (shi-shi) with folded hands and bowed head. Thank you, too, Pearlie Mae.


  1. Princess, no. Pearl is the Empress. She truly lives up to her maiden name Long Zhu which means Dragon Pearl. Pearl is one of the greatest individuals to come to Roanoke. May we all learn to live by her example.

  2. 'great photos of Pearl, Dan. She looked 100% in her element during the festival. Such an amazing person.