Written by Mike Rice on May 29th, 2016 in News and Events


4th annual Kingston Multicultural Festival June 5

Free celebration of community at Andy Murphy Midtown Neighborhood Center to feature music, dance, ethnic food and children’s fun.

KINGSTON — The fourth annual Kingston Multicultural Festival, at Andy Murphy Midtown Neighborhood from 1 to 5 p.m., June 5, will feature live ethnic music and dance, multicultural handicrafts, children’s activities, food and drinks.

The free event — the only multicultural festival between New York City and Albany — will also include American foods, including hamburgers, hot dogs, fried-fish sandwiches, fried dough and shaved ice. Kosher options of certain foods will additionally be available.

“It’s going to be a great, fun-filled afternoon,” said Geoff Miller, chairman of the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History, which is presenting the festival.

“The afternoon will be filled with the sights, sounds and tastes of many cultures that make up our rich community,” Miller said. “There will be elaborate costumes, musical instruments, exhibits and entertainment from around the world. There’ll also be lots of kids’ activities.”

The kids’ activities will include arts and crafts, games, singing, and storytelling.

Festival participants include:

  • AFS-USA (intercultural learning and exchange programs)
  • Amadou Diallo (African drummer)
  • Center for Creative Education (social and cultural awareness)
  • Choreo Dance Studio (Irish step dancing)
  • Eduardo Parra (Argentine guitarist)
  • Hudson River Maritime Museum
  • Humanamente (cultural diversity management)
  • Jewish Federation of Ulster County
  • Klezmer Berl’s Hotsie Totsie Klezmer Orkester (Balkan, Roma-Gypsy and klezmer music ensemble)
  • La Voz magazine (Hudson Valley Hispanic culture and news)
  • Latino Committee of Kingston
  • Mid-Hudson Japanese Community Association
  • Mid-Hudson Mexican Folkloric Group
  • New Progressive Baptist Church
  • Sahana Natesan (Kuchipudi classical Indian dance)
  • Spirit of Thunderheart (Native American drumming)
  • Tsvitka (Ukrainian dancers)
  • Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, Branch 95
  • Ulster County Italian American Foundation
  • Vanaver Caravan Youth Dance Company (Tarantella traditional southern Italian folk dances)

“One of the remarkable things about America is that nearly all our families originally came from someplace else,” Miller said. “Immigration is part of our national DNA. It’s something we can all take pride in.”

Event organizers recommend festival-goers bring blankets or folding chairs. Seating is informal.

Parking is available on city streets and behind the Kingston police station, off Broadway on Garraghan Drive, a few blocks up Broadway from the festival.

In the event of rain, the family-friendly event will be held at the Andy Murphy Midtown Neighborhood Center, on Broadway at the corner of Hoffman Street in midtown Kingston.

The Reher Center is a project of the Jewish Federation of Ulster County that highlights the region’s shared immigrant past, while extolling the role immigration plays in shaping our region’s evolving identity today.

The center is restoring a century-old former bakery, on the corner of Broadway and Spring Street (near the police-station parking), that was owned and operated by the Polish Jewish Reher family, which had immigrated during harsh anti-Semitism in Poland within the Russian Empire. The family ran the Reher Bakery from 1908 until 1980, and then continued to live upstairs until 2004, when the last of the bakers, Hymie Reher, passed away. The bakery building today preserves many of its details and elements from its late 19th-century construction, including the original coal-fired ovens, cabinetry in the retail store and preserved apartments upstairs where the family lived.

When the restoration is complete, the building will house the Reher Center, which will have an exhibition hall, library, archive and retail area.

ArtsMidHudson LogoThe multicultural festival is made possible in part with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York state Legislature and administered by Arts Mid-Hudson.

Additional sponsors include Basch & Keegan; Klock Kingston Foundation; Mainetti, Mainetti and O’Connor; Rondout Savings Bank; Stewart’s Shops and private donors.

Additional support from: ColorPage; the Copy Hut; Euro-Tronix; HealthAlliance and Sav-On Party Central.

For more information about the festival or the Reher Center, go to rehercenter.org or the Reher Center’s Facebook page, facebook.com/ReherBakery. Information is also available by email at info@reherbakery.org or phone at 845-338-8131