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iBerkshires.com Columnist Section

Sue Bush
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Pittsfield Ethnic Fair Aug. 27

12:00AM / Monday, August 21, 2006

Pittsfield - A longstanding community celebration returns to Pittsfield on Sunday, August 27 in downtown Pittsfield.

The Pittsfield Ethnic Fair, a one-day international festival featuring music, dance, craft and food from cultures and traditions around the world, will be held Sunday, August 27, from noon to 6 p.m. along the first block of North Street, Dunham Mall, and Fenn Street in downtown Pittsfield.

The Pittsfield Ethnic Fair was held yearly in the 1970s and 1980s in downtown Pittsfield drawing thousands of people for an event that celebrated the many different communities that make up Pittsfield and the Berkshires.

"Ever since I took this position,people have been coming up to me in droves asking to bring back the Pittsfield Ethnic Fair," commented Pittsfield’s Director of Cultural Development, Megan Whilden.

"There are very fond memories of the event in this community. It’s a perfect time to bring it back to Pittsfield, and a wonderful way to celebrate the cultural traditions in our community both old and new."

This year’s festival will feature two stages of live music, dance and storytelling. The main music stage will feature traditional polka, the Klezmer Mountain Boys playing traditional klezmer and bluegrass, Irish bands and more.

The Berkshire Highlanders will perform throughout the afternoon, and the second stage feature tango demonstrations, flamenco, step dancing -- both the Irish and African-American forms -- tap, and folk dance from a variety of countries.

Participating organizations include the Jewish Federation of the Berkshires, the Polish Falcons, the Women of Color Giving Circle, three local Italian clubs, the Berkshire Irish-American Club, the German-American Club, United Africans of the Berkshires, and many more. Food booths will feature everything from Norwegian fruit soup, polenta, and potato pancakes to Polish dumplings, tamales and gelato.

A variety of children’s activities will also be featured. The event is free and open to the public.

The Fair is sponsored by the Berkshire Bank Foundation, along with the City of Pittsfield’s Office of Cultural Development, Downtown, Inc., Greylock Federal Credit Union, and others.

For more information, visit www.culturalpittsfield.com or call 413-499-9348.

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