KINGSTON – Heritage from around the world was celebrated in Kingston, at the 7th annual Multicultural Festival, organized by Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History, and the Jewish Federation of the Hudson Valley. The event highlights Immigrant Heritage Month every June.
This was the third year the festival was moved indoors, to the Midtown Andy Murphy Center, due to threats of rain. Normally the event takes place at T.R. Gallo Park on the Rondout downtown waterfront. Hundreds nevertheless enjoyed a full day of programming, including music, dance, singing, food, arts & crafts, and storytelling.
Participants included Center for Creative Education’s Energy Dance Co.; Tsvitka Ukrainian Dance Academy; Argentine guitarist Eduardo Parra; Germania Almrausch of Poughkeepsie Bavarian dancers; Mid Hudson Japanese Community Association; Senegalese drummer Amadou Diallo; A.J. Williams-Myers African Roots Center Library; plus Mexican, Irish, Italian, Greek, Indian, Chinese, and Klezmer performers.
Kingston City Clerk Elisa Tinti was on hand with her staff to launch the new municipal identification program, offering documents for undocumented Kingston residents.
“It has been an incredible turnout,” Tinti said. “We actually had numerous people in line while
I was setting up the table, it was nice to see so much enthusiasm. It was nice to see that much enthusiasm.”
Tinti said the IDs will be helpful for a number of reasons.
“When someone needs to go to one of the schools and sign their child out, they need a photo ID, so this is definitely going to help them with that. A couple of law firms and banks because they have clients that are waiting for this photo ID so I am assuming that since they contact me to ask when we were coming out with ID, then they would therefore accept it.”
Kingston follows the City of Middletown, the first Mid-Hudson Valley municipality to issue the IDs.
The ID costs $10, or $5 for seniors, veterans, and teens aged 14-17.