Saturday, May 19, 2012

Roanoke's Finest Moment: The Parade of Nations

Polish girls (from left) Alexis Misztalski, Kate and Claire Ocalek. Poland was the select country this year.
Maya Kabariya and sisters Sarada, Mamta and Sufata Wagley photograph themselves.
Sisters Alessandra and Isabella Paras of Phillippines.
English queen Pam Robinson.
Oz Smith, Australian dude.
Ukranian Oleh Skrypczak.
Jerry Wu of China.
Anna Smith, Moneisha Hughes represent France.
Lu Kareng, Myanmar (formerly Burma).
Michelle Bolton of Belize (no, not Ireland).
Viking ruffians prepare for battle.
Fatuma Mohamed of Kenya.
Viking Madeline Smith (my grandgirl), parade queen Pearlie Mae Fu and Viking Grace St. Clair in the lead rickshaw.
My favorite face, Jebet Kibogy of Kenya
Pearlie Mae Fu ready to kick off festivities.
Everybody's favorite, River Laker of England.
The British task force.
Jackie Grant shoots her kids, Teketel and Aklilu of Ethopia.
Roanoke artist Eric Fitzpatrick and his mango.
Viking Sam Mullins.
Youngsters lead German contingent.
Koreans follow their leader and their flag.
Korean percussion section.
Colorful Vanessa Haskins of Kenya.
Jeff Rigdon pulls Pearl, Madeline and Grace.
The Poles danced throughout the parade.
The Polish flag flutters proudly.
Pole Stasia and Ukranian husband Oleh Skrypczak.
Maddie and Grace find a sponsor to hug.
Roanoke was dubbed "Festival City" many years ago and there is none better than the annual Local Colors festival and parade downtown. It was held today and thousands of people showed up to see 100 nations represented, many in colorful garb.

Poland was this year's featured nation and it had a large contingent. The nation's groups ranged from large to Belize's single entry, pretty redhead Michelle Belton, who looks more like an Irish lass with those flowing red locks.

This is Pearl Fu's baby, growing from a small gathering just a few years ago to a major crowd-pleaser and a festival that gives Roanoke a welcoming aura of diversity. This is my favorite of all the festivals because of its joy, its color and its meaning. You rarely see an unsmiling face at Local Colors.

1 comment:

  1. Dolly Jebet Kibogy One in a Million. I love this young woman,we have been through a lot,laughter,tears,joy,pain. Her love and compassion for people is unbelievable.
    Much love to you always and forever.

    Rebecca Dennis