Festival honors the sights, sounds, flavor of the Diaspora

The 19th Annual Festival of Life was held in Washington Park over the July 4 weekend.

The 19th Annual Festival of Life was held in Washington Park over the July 4 weekend.

This year, festival goers had four music destinations from the diaspora each day of the festival to choose from: Potpourri of Diasporic music, Haiti, Jamaica and Soca music.

As is its tradition – and appeal for thousands of attendees – the festival offered an eclectic mix of food, jewelry and authentic textiles and crafts. Many visitors were seen perusing vendors, look through their wares and inquiring about the origins.

The explosion of red, green and black – typical colors of nations of African heritage – framed many booths and music covers at just about every corner of the festival. Festival-goers are treated to musical acts on two separate stages. The sounds of reggae, R&B and gospel served as a soundtrack as patrons took in the festival.

The food court offered curried goat dishes, jerk chicken and red snapper.

For the less adventurous palette, there was familiar American fare: polish sausage, hotdogs and French fries.

By the festival’s end, visitors had an authentic feel for the Diaspora.

Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender

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