The 7th annual Harvest Fest will be held Saturday to celebrate the variety of cultures in the Quad-Cities area.|
The theme of Harvest Fest 2012 is "Learn About Other Cultures." It will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hereford Park at 13th Street and 4th Avenue in East Moline.
The free multicultural, family-friendly event, sponsored by the Rock Island County NAACP, will include information booths, children's activities, music, dancing, and food and craft vendors.
If it rains, activities will move to Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 1501 6th Ave., East Moline.
One of the highlights will be a community choir singing "Let it Be" and "We Are the World," beginning at 2 p.m. Last year, there were 30 people in the choir, but organizers hope to get 100 people from the community singing this year.
"The event is all about promoting cultural and community organizations, along with the entrepreneurial talent that is here in the community," event co-coordinator Yancy Bolden, of Rock Island, said. "It's a public participation type of event, all about learning and fun."
Food vendors include the East Moline Elks and their "famous chicken wings," Mr. Bolden said. Door prizes donated by local businesses will be given away each hour.
The Imani! Dancers will perform an Afro-modern dance at 3 p.m. The Native American Coalition of the Quad Cities, Jewish Federation of the Quad Cities and Vietnam Veterans Post 299 are three of the local organizations that will be on hand to share information.
Kids and adults are invited to participate in a few competitive Celtic games, such as a log throw and hammer throw, or a basketball free-throw competition. Kids' activities begin at noon. There will be a craft table and a theatrical African American folk story by Oscar Peterson.
The East Moline Fire Department will display equipment and discuss fire prevention and safety, since most fires occur during the winter months.
"The original intent for the event is about common ground. Every ethnic and cultural group has a common ground, through the harvest of food," Mr. Bolden said. "Now is an opportune time, with the area's strong farming history, to come together in celebration."
Organizers hope to promote peace and understanding of neighbors and community. At 12:30 p.m., the Rev. P. Wonder Harris of Mt. Zion will discuss "Resist Ethnic Stereotyping & Elevate Thinking," designed to help people "get past race and color" and follow the ZYX ABC standard, or "recite the alphabet forward and backwards to set a new standard beyond skin color."
The event always attracts a lot of people and has "been a positive for East Moline to be able to showcase diversity in the community," Mr. Bolden said.
NAACP Rock Island County Chapter 3268 meets at 6 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Illinois Iowa Center for Independent Living, 3708 11th St., Rock Island.
For more information about the festival or chapter, call Mr. Bolden at (309) 788-6573 or Ray Smith at (309) 236-2581.