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Annual Culture and Heritage Festival to be hosted by OHIO Southern

Ohio University Southern is excited to announce the upcoming Culture and Heritage Festival, set to take place on Saturday, June 15. This annual event serves as a prelude to the Juneteenth holiday and aims to celebrate the diverse history and cultures of the Appalachian region.

Robert Pleasant, director of student services at Ohio University Southern, highlighted the significance of the festival in uniting the community to honor the rich history and cultural diversity of the region. The festival, made possible by the Appalachian Freedom Heritage Tourism Initiative, is free and open to the public, offering a day filled with entertainment, education, and community engagement.

Attendees of all ages can look forward to a variety of activities, including live music performances by local artists and captivating showcases by the Bi-Okoto Drum and Dance Theater. With offerings such as history displays, arts and crafts, food trucks, and more, there will be something for everyone to enjoy at this family-friendly event.

Beyond the festivities, the Culture and Heritage Festival also serves as an opportunity for reflection on the region’s historical journey. It aims to foster connections, shared experiences, and relationship-building among attendees, promoting a sense of belonging and community.

Interested vendors and organization representatives have the chance to host information booths at the event by contacting Dr. Teresa McKenzie. With limited space available for food trucks, those looking to participate are encouraged to secure their spot before May 31.

As Ohio University Southern prepares to welcome visitors from across the region, the Culture and Heritage Festival stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of cultures and histories that define the Appalachian community. The event is made possible by a POWER Grant received from the Appalachian Regional Commission, in partnership with the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation and various partners across multiple states.

Juneteenth, observed on June 19, holds historical significance as the country’s second Independence Day. In 2021, Ohio University officially recognized Juneteenth as a federal holiday, hosting programming and activities to educate the community on its importance. The Culture and Heritage Festival underscores the region’s commitment to preserving its heritage and promoting inclusivity.