For the 23rd year in a row, the multicultural festival Unity in the Community will bring people of different cultures, ages and backgrounds together in Riverfront Park on Aug. 19.
New this year will be a Unity in the Community Parade that will begin at 9 a.m. on the southeast corner of Stevens Street and Spokane Falls Boulevard.
People with disabilities will lead the parade along a short route downtown, ending with a stroll to the Clocktower Meadow in Riverfront Park.
“It’s the first time we have done a community parade,” said Jim Mohr, Unity parade chair.
The idea for the parade came about because there is so much strife and division on a national level, Mohr said, and part of Unity’s mission is to bring people together.
“I want to say that this is not about President Trump, this is not political,” Mohr said. “This is about sending a clear message that there is a lot of conflict everywhere but we get along here in Spokane.”
Mohr said more than 20 groups have signed up for the free parade, but more are welcome as long as they register online at www.nwunity.org before Aug. 11.
The grand marshals of the parade are Pastor Lonnie Mitchell, who founded Unity in the Community and is a pastor at Bethel AME Church, and Ben Cabildo, a longtime leader of Unity in the Community.
This year’s theme is “Our Diversity is Our Strength.” The daylong festival will feature a cultural village where representatives of immigrant communities will share their traditions, and a fair with informational booths and activities. A senior area was added a few years ago to address issues and promote resources for the elderly.
Backpacks with school supplies will be available for low-income children on a first-come, first-served basis.
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