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Raising Arizona Kids

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Friday, March 23, 2018

Spotlight on diverse cultures

Folk dancers who'll perform at Serb Fest 2012 in Phoenix this weekend. Photo courtesy of St. Sava Church.

You’d have a tough time traveling to several regions of the globe in just a couple of days, but your family can enjoy a taste of Latino, Asian, Irish, Serbian and other cultures during festivals taking place in and beyond the Valley this weekend.

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts presents La Gran Fiesta Saturday, Nov. 3. The outdoor festival features arts and culture from Mexico and other parts of South America as well as the Caribbean. Children can make piñatas, decorate Day of the Dead sugar skulls, create Guatamalan dolls and have their faces painted.

Ten different groups are performing mariachi, samba, ballet folklorico and other styles of music and dance. Artistic shrines, masks and bark paintings by local youth will be displayed — and families can also enjoy free admission to the nearby Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, where docents will be giving informal gallery tours.

The Arizona Asian American Association presents Asia Rocks! Saturday, Nov. 3 and Sunday, Nov. 4 at Mesa Arts Center. Festival goers can enjoy film screenings and a poster exhibit indoors, and live music and dance performance outside.

Other outdoor activities include poetry readings, rickshaw rides and more. The festival also includes several Asian-theme competitions — for stand-up comedy, lanterns and Halloween costumes — as well as fashion shows and martial arts demonstrations.

St. Sava presents Serb Fest 2012 Saturday, Nov. 3 and Sunday, Nov. 4 at Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Phoenix. Several folklore groups and an orchestra will be performing both days, and lessons in a collective folk dance called Kolo take place each afternoon. A children’s zone includes climbing wall, bouncer, slide and various games.

The Tucson Celtic Festival Association presents the 2012 Tucson Celtic Festival & Scottish Highland Games Friday, Nov. 2 through Sunday, Nov. 4 at Rialto Raceway Park. The festival features live music and dance performance, plus athletic competitions, celebrating the heritage and culture of Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Friday night is “pub night.”

Weekend events includes highland games for adults as well as youth in three age divisions. Children attending the event can enjoy a jousting arena, several jumpers, an obstacle course, a bubble tub, storytellers, a petting zoo, facepainting and more. The festival also features highland dance and bagpipe competitions, and a Saturday night Elemental Artistry performance blending dance, theater and fire manipulation.

Festival admission and activity prices vary, so be sure to check details before attending. Also note that many activities and performances take place at specific times. Review festival schedules ahead of time so you can catch those that match your family’s interests.

Click here for information on additional festivals and other family-friendly events taking place this weekend.

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Lynn Trimble

Lynn Trimble write for RAISING ARIZONA KIDS and blogs daily at www.stagemommusings.com.


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