Nearly 2 dozen communities on display at Springfield’s annual CultureFest

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Combined ShapeCaption
CultureFest 2018 brought different cultures from around the world to downtown Springfield Saturday.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Xclusive Dance Crew spent three days a week rehearsing over a six-month period in preparation for the annual CultureFest event in downtown Springfield.

The hip-hop dance group was an example of the commitment shown by many who were part of the Saturday event showcasing nearly two dozen cultures.

“It’s the love and support from the community that have kept us coming here for five or six years,” said LaJuan Lane, who helped form the group with three others who met at Project Jericho.

Hip-hop was one of several cultural performing arts at the 22nd CultureFest at Springfield City Hall Plaza. Around 20 different cultures were represented along with various food choices, information booths and kids’ activities.

“It has been a great start,” said CultureFest organizer Nancy Flinchbaugh. “It makes me happy to see the community out here and it being crowded.”

Combined ShapeCaption
Wittenberg University Chinese studies students, from left, Kristin Irlam, Annemarie Brier and Megan Winters were wearing Chinese costumes at CultureFest Saturday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Wittenberg University Chinese studies students, from left, Kristin Irlam, Annemarie Brier and Megan Winters were wearing Chinese costumes at CultureFest Saturday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Wittenberg University Chinese studies students, from left, Kristin Irlam, Annemarie Brier and Megan Winters were wearing Chinese costumes at CultureFest Saturday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

CultureFest is a day of discovery, for people to meet people like members of Springfield’s Sikh community and learn its differences and similarities to other cultures.

“We want people to be more aware of who we are,” said Ravjot Singh, who along with mother Sarabjit were dressed in colorful garments representative of Sikh culture.

They said that Sikh is the fifth largest major religion in the world, around 500 years old and was founded in northern India. It is sometimes confused as being a sect of Islam or Hindu, but isn’t related to either.

MORE POPULAR STORIES: Springfield Target location sold to new owner

CultureFest is a day for families as well. It’s a tradition for Springfield resident Curtis Orahood, who brings his daughters and their cousin from out of town to enjoy the day together.

There are so many things Orahood wants them to experience.

Combined ShapeCaption
Jeet India was just one of the food vendor offering a taste of different cultures at CultureFest. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Jeet India was just one of the food vendor offering a taste of different cultures at CultureFest. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Jeet India was just one of the food vendor offering a taste of different cultures at CultureFest. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

“I was in the Marine Corps and have been all over the world. It’s great for them to see tons of cultures and experience so many different things like music and the Chinese dragon,” he said.

MORE POPULAR STORIES: Springfield surgeon pushes for sodium info on restaurant menus

One of the most popular new additions to kids activities was kindness rocks, which could be painted and designed.

Lincoln Elementary student Abigail Wheeler chose to dedicate hers to a pair of young girls who passed away and leave it near their gravestones.

“I feel special about those two little girls,” she said.

About the Author