Multi-Cultural Festival this weekend

File photo Evelyn Bennett, of the West Virginia Highland Dancers, performs during last year’s Mid-Ohio Valley Multi-Cultural Festival at City Park. The group returns this year on Saturday.

From staff reports

The 23rd annual Mid-Ohio Valley Multi-Cultural Festival will feature three days of food, fun, entertainment and activities at City Park in Parkersburg.

This year’s festival runs from Friday to Sunday with free admission all weekend. The hours are 6 to10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Along with live music and other performances through the weekend, the festival will also feature a free children’s activity center, the North American Bushcraft School with primitive skills exhibits and demonstrations, a baby care area and fairyland offered by Mamaology, WV Ghostbusters, bubbles by Professor Bubblemaker and others.

More information can be found at

≤ MojoFlo will open the festival at 6:30 p.m. Friday on the main stage.

MojoFlo is a neo-funk group which was named “Best Band” (2016) by both Columbus Monthly and (614) Magazine for its dynamic live shows. The group combines vocals, hard hitting horns, seductive melodies and a meticulously crafted stage show.

≤ Swift Technique will perform at 8:15 p.m. Friday on the main stage.

Based in Philadelphia, Swift Technique has been performing for more than 10 years. The band’s unique blend of funk, soul, rock, hip-hop and relentless showmanship has propelled the group into its most successful period to date. The band has released two music videos for its singles “Lucky Bump” and “Reason to Be.” With a recent appearance on the award-winning Netflix series “Orange is the New Black,” the group is reaching national audiences. After forming in 2007, Swift Technique has steadily toured, performed and recorded all over the country. The band’s sound has evolved at every step, with the members constantly pushing their performing and musical limits.

≤ Ugata will perform at 12:45 p.m Saturday on the main stage.

The drum performance is led by Lawrence Greene. He is the founder of Ugata, a cultural education and social services organization based in Southeast Ohio. He has been performing and teaching West African drum traditions for 10 years. He uses movement and sound to develop spiritual clarity and inspiration for his students and self. Ugata is a cultural education and social services organization based in the intentions of their ancestors.

≤ Buckeye Bhangra will perform at 4;15 p.m. Saturday on the main stage.

The group is Ohio State University’s premiere Bhangra Indian Dance Team. It strives to learn and present traditional Punjabi Bhangra dances of the region of Punjab, India. Through dance and music members have an opportunity to experience and share their expressions and excitement for for Bhangra, a form of folk music and dance that originates from the Punjab region in Southeast Asia

≤ Backporch Alibi will perform at 4:45 p.m. Saturday on the main stage.

Formed in 2017, Backporch Alibi is a “mostly” Acoustic-Americana-Folk Band. They currently spend their time working together be it originals or covers. BackPorch Alibi has a little something for everyone, crossing genres with ease.

≤ Kenya Safari Acrobats will perform at 6 p.m. Saturday on the main stage.

Hailing from the heart of Africa, the dance troupe takes acrobatics to exhilarating extremes. The group members learned acrobatics as children on the beaches of Kenya, as a means to break free from an impoverished country. Now they serve as artistic ambassadors for Kenya as they travel the globe.

≤ Appalatin will perform at 8:30 p.m. Saturday on the main stage.

Appalatin’s foot-stomping, hip-swinging sounds organically unite Appalachian folk and high-energy Latin music. The name, Appalatin, reflects the unexpected meeting in Louisville, Ky., and Latin emigres from Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Their all-acoustic performances of traditional stings of guitar, mandolin, upright bass, and charango, indigenous Andean flutes, hand percussion, harmonica and vocal harmonies have brought joy and happiness to listeners of all ages.

≤ Shayar will perform at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Shayar (Lenval Jarrett) was born in Ocho Rios, St. Ann Parish, Jamaica, in 1956. He had a natural inclination towards music and his bass-playing father was one of his greatest influences. Shayar began piano lessons in primary school. At age 12, Shayar convinced his father to buy him a guitar. He soon knew music would be his career. In high school, Shayar played in a band that worked the hotel circuit along the north coast of Ocho Rios.

≤ Devil Doves will perform at 2:45 p.m. Sunday.

The Devil Doves are an energetic “cluster-folk” quartet based out of Columbus that focus on gruff, reflective lyrics and harmonies over a rough and tumble skeleton.

The schedule of activities includes


6 p.m.: Opening Ceremonies (Main Stage)

6:30 p.m.: MojoFlo (Main Stage)

8:15 p.m.: Swift Technique (Main Stage)


* 11 a.m.: Shiloh Morgenstern (Main Stage)

* 11:30 a.m.: West Virginia Highland Dancers (Main Stage)

* 12:45 p.m.: Ugata (Main Stage)

* 2 p.m.: Corey Shields Trio (Main Stage)

* 3:15 p.m.: S. H. Kang’s Tae Kwon Do (Main Stage)

* 4:15 p.m.: Buckeye Bhangra (Main Stage)

* 4:45 p.m.: Backporch Alibi (Main Stage)

* 6 p.m.: Kenya Safari Acrobats (Main Stage)

* 6:45 p.m.: Ohio Burn Unit (Main Stage)

* 7:45 p.m.: Kenya Safari Acrobats (Main Stage)

* 8:30 p.m.: Appalatin (Main Stage)


* Noon: Interfaith Prayer (Main Stage)

* 12:30 p.m.: Mahana Productions Polynesian Dance Group (Main Stage)

* 1:30 p.m.: Shayar (Main Stage)

* 2:45 p.m.: Devil Doves (Main Stage)

* 4:30 p.m.: Brady Young Jazz Quartet (Main Stage)