Explore over thirty cultures from around the world at the World Arts Celebration on Saturday, May 19, from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. around the fountain at City Center at Oyster Point (735 Town Center Drive). A stroll around the fountain will transport you through a curated world tour of hands-on exhibits, art demonstrations, entertainment and culinary delights to tantalize your senses.
This year’s headliner, the legendary Wailers band, will take the “World Stage” at 7:00 p.m. Steered by famed bassist and founder Aston “Familyman” Barrett, and joined in solidarity with original Wailers’ guitarists Junior Marvin and Donald Kinsey, The Wailers will bring its revolutionary sounds to Newport News. Taking the stage before The Wailers are the Junkanoo Commandos, a traditional Junkanoo performance troop, flying straight from Nassau, Bahamas for a riveting and colorful performance at 6:00 p.m.
Throughout the afternoon, visit exhibits from a variety of countries including Taiwan, South Africa, Germany, China, Japan, France, Mali, Egypt, West Indian Islands, Mexico, Greece, Vietnam, Polynesia, Poland, America and Cambodia. Free children’s activities include face painting, henna designs, and international “make and take” crafts. Families can take photos with props representing a variety of countries from around the world. Free necklaces, mini totes and Chinese fans will be given away while supplies last. Vendors will sell artwork and crafts from Ecuador, Kenya, Nepal, Uganda, Bangladesh, the Philippines, South Africa, the Bahamas and America.
Folkdance, music, and martial arts performances will fill four stages. The World Stage features The Cumascaigh School of Irish Dance at 4:00 p.m., the Hellenic Youth Dancers of Hampton Roads at 4:30 p.m., Atumpan, The Talking Drum Folklore at 5:00 p.m., the Micha’s Polish Dance Ensemble at 5:30pm, the Junkanoo Commandos at 6:00pm and the headlining performance of The Wailers at 7:00pm. The Mosaic Steel Drum Orchestra will perform near the World Stage beginning at 4:00 p.m.
The Discovery Stage will feature Orquesta Tropikiimba (Afro-Cuban Orchestra Salsa) at 4:00 p.m. and the Jow Ga Kung Fu Association’s Lion Dance at 5:45 p.m. The Gazebo Stage will feature Tom Teasley (Global Percussion) at 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and a Pipa performance by the William & Mary Confucius Institute at 5:00 p.m. Performances on the NN Love Stage include the Ohana Arts Hula at 4:30 p.m., the Peninsula Chinese American Association (Tai-chi Team) at 5:00 p.m. and a performance of Sentiminetos Y Raices Del Peru by Bailes do Monde at 6:00 p.m.
International food vendors will sell food representing Puerto Rico (El Coqui Puerto Rican Cuisine), the Caribbean Islands (MP Island Café), the Mediterranean (Grapevine Restaurant, Over the Moon Pizza, 4 Spices Mediterranean, Turkish Ice Cream), Asia (Taste of Asia) and Europe (Monique’s Crepes).
The World Arts Celebration is presented by the City of Newport News and Newport News Sister Cities. Admission and parking are free. For additional information, call 757-926-1400 or visit www.nnparks.com. Updates and announcements (including weather-related announcements) will be posted on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/NewportNewsFestivals and Twitter @nnfestivals.