How the Milton Cultural Festival came to be – Part One

MILTON – The 6th annual Milton Cultural Festival is a month away, and it has come far from being Fiesta de Mayo.  As the festival approaches, we take a look back at how it all began and where it is today.

It was 2008 when Maggie Rosa of Lewisburg and Milton-area newspaper The Standard Journal had a similar idea: Reaching out to the Latino Community.  Rosa was a member of Congregacion Menonita Shalom in New Columbia.  “We as a Spanish church had a bigger dream to reach out to the community and let them know we wanted to be part of them, a positive influence and get to know their culture as well as sharing our culture.”

In May of that year and in 2009 Fiesta de Mayo was held in downtown Milton and was a big success, so the committee started thinking on a larger scale.  “We were focused on sharing our Hispanic culture to the community,” says Rosa, “But then we thought, wait, we are not the only culture in the area.  Could we get together and have a multi-cultural event?”

From there, it was the start of the Milton Cultural Festival and the third annual festival was held in 2010.  “By the third year, we decided it would be a good time to expand upon the initial concept and extend a hand to any culture who wanted to participate and bring forward what they would like to share in regards to education, music and culinary,” says Tricia Dreese of the Standard Journal.

Another great and packed event was held in 2010.  By then, the Milton Cultural Festival planning committee was continuing to grow and thinking of more ideas for a bigger, better festival in the coming years.  We will hear about the fourth and fifth year of the festival, plus preview the 2013 event in upcoming newscasts.  The Milton Cultural Festival will be held May 11 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  For more information, go to www.miltonpatime.org (Sara Bartlett)

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