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Steel drum player at 1992 Caribbean Middfest
1992 Caribbean celebration vibrates to the rhythm of the steel drums Photo: Kevin Sommers

Middfest International

Held annually in Middletown, Ohio, Middfest celebrates international arts, history, culture, sports and food with emphasis on a different nation or region each year. It began in 1978 as a generic community festival, but in 1980 the celebration took on a international theme introduced through an industrial exhibit of locally manufactured projects which demonstrated Middletown's connections with nearly every nation in the free world. Since 1981, Luxembourg, Mexico, Egypt, Brazil, Japan, Switzerland, Canada, Italy, India, Ireland, the Caribbean, eastern Europe, New Zealand, West Africa, Norway, Korea, and South Africa have been featured. People from the featured country have been invited to Middletown to participate and represent their culture. The celebration attracts regional midwestern audiences of over 100,000 every year. Always held the first weekend in October, a continuous schedule of performances, exhibits, and demonstrations takes place from Friday afternoon through Sunday evening. Middfest is year-long celebration of diversity: an international outreach effort that has strengthened personal, civic and professional ties of the community to the many nations it serves through business, education, and industry. It exists to promote world understanding, friendship and peace.

Making up project documentation are a nine-page written report, informational flyer and brochure, and representative materials from the 1999 festival, "Voices of South Africa," including a press file with newspaper coverage, a bibliography and booklet on oral traditions in South Africa. Twenty-four color Middfest photographs and their descriptions, videotapes of the highlights of the 1998 Korean celebration, and a Middfest poster and totebag, as well as nine copies (1991-1999) of a glossy magazine, Middfest International, are provided.

Originally submitted by: John A. Boehner, Representative (8th District).

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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