CHARLESTON, W.Va — This year, Multifest will celebrate 25 years in the Capital City. More than 30,000 people are expected to attend West Virginia’s primary celebration of cultural diversity at the State Capitol Complex next month.
Headlining performers this year include J.Holiday and Tasha Denae on Friday, Kelly Price on Saturday, and Tye Tribbett on Sunday. Throughout the weekend, there will be a variety of other performances. Sunday will also bring a Gospel celebration. Dallas Staples, president of the Multifest Board, said the festivities are for all ages.
“We have a list of events, a list of entertainers for young folks, for the baby boomers, for the elderly, and for the religious community on Sunday. We have a lot of churches participating. So, I think there’s something for everybody,” Staples said.
Multifest brings together music, food, art, and education from several ethnic communities around the state.
“Diversity is rich. To be able to experience something outside of your own culture, that only educates you. You find out things that you may not have known. I think that’s a great opportunity for people to come out and experience other cultures because we are an extremely diverse state,” Staples said.
Due to funding issues, officials said they were not sure that Multifest would happen this year. To help, West Virginia University became the primary sponsor. The event is also sponsored by the City of Charleston, the Kanawha County Commission, and many others. Officials said, without that help, Multifest could not have moved forward.
David Fryson, vice president of the WVU Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, said he is excited that Multifest is happening this year. “Over these 25 years, Multifest has played a crucial part in not only illustrating a great weekend, but illustrating the diversity that we have in West Virginia and how we can celebrate that diversity together,” Fryson said.
Multifest is an alcohol-free event open to everyone. Free parking will be available behind the Capitol. Kickoff begins at 6 p.m. on August 1st.
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