Celebrate Springfield at CultureFest on Saturday

For all of the days you may have fallen asleep or had your mind wander during world geography class, Springfield offers a one-day course to learn and appreciate the diverse cultures that make up our world right here in our city.

It may also give the youngsters who haven’t reached those classes yet a good head start before they get there.

The 23rd annual CultureFest will showcase the area’s diversity through food, entertainment, interaction and information, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at Springfield City Hall Plaza. Admission is free.

Dr. Surender Neravetla has lived here for nearly 40 years and is proud of the community’s diversity. As event co-chairman, he wants to promote the theme of “Discovering Our Roots and Discovering Springfield Together.”

“We have a primary objective to show the diversity of Springfield, to show we are not just a place between Dayton and Columbus,” he said.

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Neravetla’s goal is to help community members support and love their city the way other cities of similar size do through this show of vibrancy through cultural gathering.

Part of the appeal of CultureFest is the familiar and the new. Several fresh offerings are coming in 2019.

Entertainment coordinator J. Chris Moore used his resources to snag acts like the Taiko Drumming, a form of Japanese music; the Miami Valley Klezmer Ensemble, which hasn’t performed its Jewish-influenced music at CultureFest in a decade; the Sanuka Children’s Choir of Uganda, which is touring; Mariachi Guadalajara, which he found at a Dayton festival. Other new acts include the Dayton Salsa Project, Irish music group Wild Rumpus out of Yellow Springs and bagpiper David Yarnell from just down the road in Enon, Springfield’s Gary Geis Dance Company and Vintage Voices.

“We’re really excited getting some of these acts,” Moore said.

The CultureJam area will feature interactive demonstrations and lessons including Gary Geis Dance Studio, yoga with Julie Fasick Valley and Indian dancing with Vijaya Devatha. The Children’s Tent will have new crafts and learning with Wittenberg University and Springfield High School language students.

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The schedule for the day’s activities and entertainment is available at springfieldohio.gov/culturefest2019/.

CultureFest is about exploring and having fun while doing so, with a lot packed in over the course of the day. Another attraction will be a tour of the historic Gammon House, Springfield’s own contribution to the Underground Railroad. A shuttle will leave from in front of KeyBank at 2 p.m. to take visitors to the house.

Neravetla said although the city has problems, the good parts shouldn’t be left behind and this is where CultureFest can help bridge that.

“We want to celebrate what we have and take pride in Springfield,” he said.


What: CultureFest 2019

Where: Springfield City Hall Plaza, 76 E. High St.

When: Saturday, Sept. 28, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Admission: free

More info: 937-324-7696 or springfieldohio.gov/culturefest2019/

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