Cass Minority Coalition moves event to SMC

Published 1:27 am Monday, September 13, 2004

By By JOHN EBY / Niles Daily Star
Cass County Minority Coalition launched the International Festival in 2002 to bolster community unity.
The third annual event, which moved Sunday to Southwestern Michigan College from Dowagiac Union High School, fell on Sept. 12, the day after a national outpouring of remembrance for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The headliner, Escorpion of Wyoming, Mich., offered an infectious blend of tejano and norteno music during its set early Sunday afternoon.
As a warm, sunny afternoon evaporated into evening on the lush SMC campus, which about 100 international students attend, the Global Jam offered a stew of ethnic entertainment such as the trio which performed Celtic music with African instruments and a Pakistani drum.
There were drums galore with the South Bend Berean Church Drum Corps and Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians drummers with the Rush Lake Singers of Hartford inspiring many to dance.
Main stage performers for the eight-hour event were partially funded by a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.
An awards ceremony honored Minority Council Executive Director Ruth Newton and soccer tournament organizer Judy Lawrence for their contributions to Cass County racial harmony.
Ethnic food, a basketball tournament, arts and crafts, children's activities furnished by the Museum at SMC and Curious Kids Museum and informational booths from a variety of organizations such as the Dowagiac Police Department were other components of the festival.
A Buchanan couple registered voters on behalf of the League of Women Voters.
There was the annual free garage sale offered by Lewis Cass Intermediate School District's Family Resource Center.