Dancers, musicians, artists, and cooks from different cultures will converge on Trenton’s South Riverwalk Park, next to the Trenton Thunder stadium, for a statewide cultural festival on Sunday, October 22, from noon to 6 p.m.

With “Diversity: Embrace, Educate, Celebrate” as the theme, the festival will showcase Native American, Asian, Latino, Greek, Ukrainian, gospel, jazz, and bluegrass artists. It will culminate in a swearing-in ceremony for new citizens.

“This festival celebrates the arts, music, dance, and crafts of the 144 cultures of New Jersey,” says Justin Zimmerman, director of legislative affairs in the office of Nina Mitchell Wells, New Jersey’s secretary of state.

“The new South Riverwalk park was chosen this year because it fits the theme of diversity and different cultures,” says Zimmerman. Built on the tunnel over Route 29, the park is a two mile-long outdoor classroom. Each of its five arches is surrounded by an octagonal space aimed at evoking one century of New Jersey history, from the era of Native Americans to Brooklyn Bridge architect John Roebling to today. Supporting the passage-of-time idea are 97 granite markers inscribed with a date and historical fact and four bronze reliefs set into the pavement.

The crowds will enjoy musical and theatrical performances, visual and multimedia art, discussions with elected officials, artists, and scholars — and of course a variety of food from different countries.

Dance performers include Hellenic Dancers of New Jersey, Asian Indian Dance Group, American Karachia-Kavkaz Benevolent Association Elbrus, and Friends of Grace Seniors. Music will be provided by Jim Murphy and the Pine Barons, Spanish guitarist Arturo Romay, African American Music School, Soumas Heritage School, and the Marion Anderson Music Guild.

“We are promoting it all over the state,” says Zimmerman, who hopes it will attract a crowd of from 5,000 to 8,000.

New Jersey’s Cultural Festival, State of New Jersey, Sunday, October 22, from noon to 6 p.m., South Riverwalk Park, River View Plaza, 609-777-0573. Parking at the adjacent Trenton Thunder stadium.

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