Monday, October 22, 2007

International Festival of Fort Bend a Smashing Success

While Fort Bend County, and all of the southwest Houston region, really, has been known for its ethnic diversity for quite some time now, it wasn’t until this year that that diversity has been celebrated in an International Festival.

The event took place Sunday afternoon to evening in Stafford, Texas, at the Stafford Centre.

It was well attended. People came and went all day so it was hard to get an idea of the headcount, but I’ll bet over the course of the day well over a thousand attended.

The facility was divided roughly in half with an audience area and a stage for cultural performances, and an area dominated by vendor booths. The Fort Bend Democrats, a GPAC that I am a member of, rented a booth for the day to peddle our campaign paraphernalia. We also had rather tasteful international peace banners to sell. Here is a photo of the booth manned by Fort Bend Democrats.

It should be noted right up front that unlike the Fort Bend County Fair, there was no Republican party or club presence. One woman was pretty darned gleeful about that and made a point to stop by and tell us this. My suspicion is that Republicans have been making such a huge stink about immigrants that it would be, dare I say it, unseemly for them to be there, let alone have a booth.

And now that I think of it, they probably would have just wasted their time. This was a Democratic crowd, I could just feel it.

But I have to give one sponsor credit where credit is due: The Sugar Creek Baptist Church was a sponsor of the event. To those of you who don’t know, the SCBC is right smack dab in the middle of DeLayville.

Most of those who manned the booths were vendors selling crafty things and jewelry. Some wore advertising their businesses. And there were a whole bunch of food booths.

This is why you go to an International Festival: the music and rhythms are exotic and the food is to die for. I settled on a Palestinian food booth that was selling a sampler of spicy but healthy delicacies. Grape leaves rolled around some brown stuff, Tabouli, Baba Ganouj, Humus, and a couple of other things I don’t know the name of.

The performances were almost entirely by young men and women. Performances were a broad mixture of traditional dances and modern choreographed routines. I took a couple of photos which mainly turned out dark but it’s amazing what a little tweak here and there can do to a dark image.

That's probably something that our Republican friends are needing about now. Hey guys, it's called gamma.


Anonymous said...

There were so many attendees and participants at the festival that it truly was a great success. Even Uncle Charlie Howard said so when he was trying not to choke on the word "diversity".

All those dressed in the clothes representing their heritage wore those clothes with such pride and with big smiles. It was awesome.

My favorite was the cutest, Hawaiian septuagenarian. I don't think he expected me to say "Aloha!" when we bumped into each other in the crowd. He was so tickled to hear the word, he nearly dropped the drinks he'd waited so long in line to purchase. I would have loved to have taken him home, but I later saw him surrounded by adoring granddaughters and I couldn't so that to them.

Glad you guys were there to show how much a part of embracing strengths in differences is a big part of Democratic beliefs. That you aren't ignorant and afraid of people who don't have the same religion, language, background, and skin color.

Alan Steinberg said...

I enjoyed my time at the event. The food was good, met some nice people, and even ran into a friend from High School!

There is a picture on my website...

Hal said...

The kid!

The kid left a comment on the blog.

Doesn't that beat all?

Not only am I not someone who he can hit up on for a campaign contribution, I am not available for any vehicle for him to get laid. Sorry, my older daughter is not available also, guy. She's too smart to date a politico, anyway.