Cultural festival to celebrate Jersey City’s diversity with live performances, international cuisines
JERSEY CITY – Earlier this year, Jersey City was named the most diverse city in the country, beating out more than 300 of the most populated cities in the U.S. in regard to racial and ethnic diversity and variety of languages spoken.
CarePoint Health and JC Families, a local community group, will celebrate this diversity with the second annual Cultural Diversity Festival on June 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Jersey City is one of the most diverse cities in the country, but precious little is said about that, let alone celebrated. We think it’s important to celebrate what we are doing well to inspire the community even further,” said JC Families founder Mamta Singh.
Singh, who said she expects more than 1,000 attendees this year, noted the number of languages spoken in Jersey City as a testament to the cultural melting spot that exists in our city.
Residents in Jersey City speak more than 75 languages with Spanish being the most commonly spoken first language, followed by Arabic, Urdu, Gujarati and Hindi.
“This unique and special event would be a great opportunity for children and families to experience the vibrant and diverse cultures of Jersey City,” Singh said. “There will be performances by several well-known performers, food from local businesses and an opportunity to blend in all Jersey City has to offer.”
An assortment of international cuisines will be served at the festival, including Mexican food from El Chilango Taqueria, Middle Eastern regional favorites from Sahara Grill & Pita, Argentinian delights from Stella’s Empanadas, authentic Indian food from Urban Food Bazaar and baked treats from Jersey City-based Milk Sugar Love.
The festival will include live performances from Bollywood Dance, Russian dance group Nadiya Dance School, JC Ballroom, Yee’s Hung Ga International Kung Fu Association, Turkish Cultural Center, Indian band Downtown Raagas, Nai-ni Chen Dance Company, Irish tap dancing and Baladi Beat Belly Dance, featuring one of the world’s most renowned pioneers of male oriental dance.
Attendees will also have the chance to enjoy a live performance of capoeira, a Brazilian dance art form that combines acrobatics and self-defense moves, as well as cana y cadencia dancing to Flamenco music.
Last year’s event was held in October with a fall theme and Singh hopes this time around to take advantage of the summer weather.
“Based on the overwhelming response we received for the event, we decided to move it to June this year to allow kids to participate even more as June is summer vacation time,” she said.
The festival, which is free of charge, will be held at City Hall Plaza, located at 280 Grove St. in Jersey City.
Sponsors include SILVERMAN, Camp Riverbend, Taproot Organics, M.E.T.S Charter School, and The Brunswick School.