Step Into Africa Without Ever Leaving Saginaw 8-13-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Step Into Africa Without Ever Leaving Saginaw 8-13-2010

You can experience a culture from halfway around the world, without leaving the Great Lakes Bay Region.
This is the 42nd year for the Saginaw African Cultural Festival. This Saginaw summer institution is the oldest ongoing black arts festival in the nation. A family event, the festival is an educational experience for young and old.
"Culture-wise, they get exposed to West Africa, East Africa and South Africa," said volunteer Omowale Art Smith. "We're glad to be able to make that re-connection."
That connection is made with African artifacts, textiles, art works and masks.
Isma McCain is from the West African nation of Senegal and he said his masks each have a special meaning. "Any mask you see represents something," said McCain. "All these are from West Africa -- Mali, Ghana, and some from Senegal."
The festival includes workshops and speakers, story tellers and stilt dancers and great food. "The best things here are tocos. They love tocos," said food vendor Mary Gust. "This is ground beef and this is turkey. They love turkey tacos because everyone is trying to watch their weight."
The African Cultural Festival runs through Sunday at Morley Park and Morley Elementary School on Veteran's memorial Parkway at I-675.
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