“Come Dance with Us!” The 7th Annual Othello Park International Music and Arts Festival, a Seafair Sanctioned Community Event, was held on Sunday, August 18th in a grassy lawn, under the big, beautiful trees that line Othello Park. Recently refurbished through a combined effort of community, private and government agencies, Othello Park features new walkways, entryways, a permanent stage, and a new zip line. These improvements support the continued success of the park’s international festival.
This year’s festival featured a world of ethnic music, art, and community vendors, and offered a variety of activities focused on dance and artistic expression. Over 2,000 festival goers relaxed and enjoyed the park’s beauty and the Festival's attractions. This year’s emphasis on international rhythms generated a great deal of audience participation. Mark Lilly performed Afro-Cuban-style singing and drumming in collaboration with his group, Bembe Olele. The audience danced throughout the afternoon, enticed by Shakti Bollywood Dance, Bhangra Folk Dancing, and Pearl Django – the Hot Club-style guitar band that played some of the world’s most popular dance favorites. The most welcomed surprise of the day was a Somali line dance that caused the audience to jump up and participate with great excitement.
A large tent on the lawn sheltered the Festival’s always-popular and ever-busy “Art Creation Station.” The tented station engaged festival attendees, of all ages, in a variety of hands-on visual art activities led by local artists. Participants waited in line all day long for a chance to throw a pot at the two very popular pottery wheels.
The festival also featured a petting zoo complete with a camel, along with rabbits and llamas. One Somali attendee was overjoyed when visiting the camel, commenting that he had owned camels in Somalia and had not seen any since relocating to the United States. It was a welcomed reminder of his former homeland.
Stay tuned for information on next year's festival and we look forward to seeing you there!
Please visit http://othellopark.org/2013-festival for photos and more information.
Sponsors of the 2013 Othello Park International Music and Arts Festival
Othello Park Alliance Board