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Ethnic Festival Unites People Of Different Cultures

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The City of Rockford is filled with people representing dozens of different backgrounds and ethnicities. They came together for the fourth year in a row to celebrate the Annual Ethnic Parade and Festival.

“You know the old saying, We’re the melting pot,” said Midtown Ethnic Festival organizer Pat Seddon.

Traditional attire of all colors filled Rockford’s Midtown District Sunday.

“I just love all the music,” said Festival Attendee Rachel Ruiz-Davis. “[I just love] seeing different cultures and their costumes.”

Organizers say their mission is for people to gain a sense of appreciation for cultures other than their own.

“There are a lot of interesting things to learn about each other and we can all be friends,” said Seddon.

Ronald Drotar attended the fest for the first time last year. He says he returned this year because he enjoys embracing the diversity that can be found here.

“All the different people of the world can get together because we are a melting pot,” Drotar said.

Seddon says she enjoys the unity the event brings to attendees when the see all the cultures coexisting.

“We want everybody to recognize that everybody is your neighbor and your friend. It’s wonderful to see people dancing here together, different ethnic groups dancing together and teaching one another.”

Attendees say getting to know one another is the key to uniting people in a country that seems more divided now than ever.

“We need to learn about other people’s cultures and beliefs,” said  Ruiz-Davis. “Support each other instead of being so divided.”

“People can understand each other,” said Drotar. “There’s a lot of different cultures, a lot of different religions. But we’re all God’s people.”

Organizers say they hope to have more ethnicities join the festival in the coming years, to make it even bigger.
 

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