SOMERVILLE, NJ – Somerset County celebrated its cultural heritage with its first-ever first Diversity Festival on Saturday, Oct.12th, on the grounds of the Historic Courthouse and Veterans Plaza across from the County Administration Building at 20 Grove St.
It was a busy day in the borough, with the historic Borough Hall, Firemen's Museum and the Wallace House, George Washington's headquarters, visited by local residents and out-of-towners on a self-guided tour, the "Weekend Journey through the Past," sponsored by the Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission.
The annual Firemen's Inspection and Parade also drew a crowd along Main Street.
Inside the County Administration Building, just a few hundred feet from the street activities, the County Clerk's Office was open for people wanting to search records and documents related to their family histories.
Outside, there was music and demonstrations, information booths and native costumes helping to underline the spirit of the event, with the Somerset 4-H Chinese Culture Club, the Xochiquetzal Mexican Dance Troupe, the Swing Combo Salsa Band and the Betyarok Hungarian Dance Troupe, along with a TaiChi demonstration, the Tyrone Stackhouse Project, the Somerset County Police Pipes and Drums and the Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble.
There was face painting, a balloon artist, a handprint tree, a sticker mural, and four "selfie" picture stations and a giant Jenga game, a Giant Puzzle, and corn hole toss.
Other vendors set up to distribute literature about their organizations included Arc Self Advocacy; the Downtown Somerville Alliance, Chinese Club craft table, Hunterdon County Vocational School District, Leadership Somerset, National Federation for the Blind, Provident Bank, PROUD Center, Somerset County Government, Somerset County Library System, Somerset County Prosecutors’ Office with two pink police cars, Somerset County Sheriffs’ Office, US Census and Unity Bank.
The Diversity Festival was sponsored by the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Downtown Somerville Alliance.