2016 Wyandotte County Ethnic Festival
WYCO Ethnic Festival, a community event to promote relationships and contact between people, and educate each other about our common humanity. Music, dancing and ethnic foods will fill the Kansas City Kansas Community College Field House as part of the 11th annual Wyandotte County Ethnic Festival: A Human Family Reunion.
More than 1,000 people attended in 2015 with 65 organizations, countries and ethnicities from Wyandotte County represented at the festival through booths as well as onstage entertainment. Clarence Small is a fabulous master of ceremonies. There will be numerous professional music, dance, and vocal groups. Gospel singer, Shawn Derritt, who is also Director of the Advising and Counseling Center at KCKCC, kicks off the event with the National Anthem and “America the Beautiful.”
Everyone attending the festival will receive a souvenir program with blank “passport” pages. These can be stamped at the various culture booths. There will be a door prize drawing at the end of the program from all of the completed stamped passport pages turned in at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. exhibit. In addition, festival founder Karen Hernandez will be giving out one free book to each person who turns in a ticket received at the festival entrance, while supplies last.
There are always a few new entertainment groups. In 2015 there was a Latino Jazz Group in tribute to the KCKCC Blue Devils Jazz Orchestra that attended the 30th International Jazz Festival in Havana, Cuba from December 16-22 (click on photos and scroll to the bottom to view photos of Cuba by Curtis Smith). Also performing was Quimbaya dancers from Colombia; Kolograd a combo performing traditional music from the Balkans; Sabor a Peru dancers; and Tez and Tam Inspirational Dance. Annual favorites include Danny Hinds' African and Barbados drumming and dance; the Hrvatski Obicaj Croatian Orchestra, hip hop artist Roger Suggs, Tikvah Dancers of Israel, Nartan Dancers, St. Monica Inspirational Choir, Folkwaves musicians Bob and Diana Suckiel, Hide in the Shallows Costa Rican trio, and the West of Marakesh Dancers. The Creative Children’s Corner, coordinated by KCKCC’s Intercultural Center Director, Barbara Clark-Evans, will be located on the inside right of the Field House.
The food court area featured delicious dishes from India, Colombian Cuisine, Peruvian fare, West African cuisine, Soul Food provided by the Renewed Hope Christian Church, and Kenyan cuisine. Water and mint tea will be available for free. .