Update on June 23: Due to forecast for inclement weather, XRootsFest will be from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., instead of the originally scheduled noon to 5 p.m. Red Storm Drum & Dance troupe will be there starting at 1 p.m.
SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – You don’t have to leave the neighborhood or book a flight to travel to four continents in one day. XRootsFest: A Day of Music, Culture and Food will feature music, dance and food from throughout the world this Saturday, June 24, on Flood’s Hill between
noon and 5 p.m.2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Presented by the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race, XRootsFest (pronounced cross-roots-fest) will showcase a variety of talented performers who highlight the diverse cultures in the SOMA community, Essex County, and throughout northern New Jersey who will represent Africa, Asia, North America, and South America.
“This event is one of the different programs we work on and is part of our community engagement mission,” said Nancy Gagnier, Executive Director of the coalition. “While we deal with some very serious issues faced by our community, this is a chance to enjoy and celebrate the community and its talent.”
In addition to performances and delicious food from around the world, this year will include the “Big Edu-tainment Tent” which the presenters say will feature “ambassadors, fashions, language exchange, books, snacks, storytelling and more from five different regions of the world, including Native American culture complete with a full-sized teepee.” Participants will be able to get their souvenir “passport” stamped at each station in the tent to receive an instant gift as well as entry to win a gift certificate to a local restaurant.
The impressive performance line-up includes the returning African Dance Company Usaama, as well as Children’s Japanese Taiko Drumming group Cobu, Ibn Sharif Shakoor, Hip Hop recording artist and poet, and more. Maplewood-based dancers from LaChaney’s Dance and Music Academy will also perform.
We want to create an event that isn’t just about watching a performance,” Gagnier said. “XRootsFest is also experiential.”
And if the kids get restless, a series of children’s activities are available, including a crowd-pleasing bouncy house.
For more information about XRootsFest and the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race, visit their website here.