Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Unity Festival

Part of the 2017 Diversity Celebration

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
3 - 7 p.m.
PSU Blue Ridge Ballroom
Free event

The Unity Festival—held as part of the Diversity Celebration—is a community development project designed to raise the level of diversity acceptance in our county by using music, storytelling, drama, dance and visual art to explore diverse cultures and races at a free, family-oriented celebration and by creating an environment that encourages cross-cultural friendships and relationships of trust. It is a room full of demonstrations and hands on activities aimed at helping us learn more about ourselves and other cultures.

The Unity Festival is particularly engaging for children, but all are welcome.

Unity Festival History

In response to the Watauga community's request for an annual unity event, the Watauga County Arts Council joined the 1992 Unity Week organizers to coordinate "Unity Month '93", featuring an "Up With People" performance and a newly created Community Unity Choir as its major events. Over 1,000 Watauga residents attended this group of concerts, children's festivities, lectures, movies, and discussion groups.

The second Unity Festival was again coordinated by the Baha'i, community with the support of the First Baptist Church, the Watauga County Arts Council and many other individuals and organizations as a part of Unity Month '94. Nearly 1,000 people attended 20 uplifting music, art, dance, storytelling, lecture and discussion programs that year.

From 1995 through 1997, no large-scale unity events were held. In 1998, many individuals who had been involved in the unity weeks and months of the early 90's formed the I Have A Dream Task Force. With strong support from the Watauga County Arts Council, this task force began crafting its annual "I Have A Dream Week" to coordinate with the Martin Luther King holiday. The Baha'i, community joined this effort by sponsoring Unity Festivals at the Boone Mall in 1999, 2000 and 2001. In late 2001, prompted by the 9/11 tragedy, several churches and community organizations joined the Baha'is as Unity Festival sponsors, adding diversity, strength and sustainability to the Unity Festival project, along with a new home for the 2002, 2003, and 2004 festivals. In 2006 the Unity Festival joined forces with the Diversity Celebration. Since then, it has become the hub of family friendly entertainment for the event, with a constant array of artists and activities from 3 - 7 p.m. on the day of the Celebration, in Blue Ridge Ballroom of Plemmons Student Union.

Want to Volunteer?

We are in need of a number of volunteers for each of these activities. Please register and indicate "Unity Festival" as your preference.


A special thank you to Lowe's Foods for the donation of bushels of apples for the Unity Festival.

2017 Unity Festival Activities

Japanese Culture Club

Origami (traditional Japanese paper craft) and calligraphy (traditional paint brush). We can decorate the table with houses made of Origami paper etc.

Germany "Protecting the Environment, the German Way"

Activities centered around animals & recycling to keep nature looking good & healthy.


A craft with paper fish (an April Fools' tradition in France) & make their own "rose window" from the Notre Dame Cathedrale in Paris (done all with construction paper & tissue paper).

Chinese Club

Draw and color to help give a ghost a home to live in and learn about the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival.

Appalachian region

Do you know how to make yarn from wool? Come and find out how to spin wool, learn about Appalachian history connected to the use of cotton and wool from Peggy Cerchione.

Appalachian region

Do you know how toys came to the Appalachian Mountains? Come and see live toy demonstrations,learn about items made from Poplar Bark, a local wood and learn how re-purposed wood is reused to make toys and crafts from Billy Joe Ward.

Appalachian Knotted Bedspreads

Do you want to learn about colonial knotting from the Appalachian Region? Come and check out demonstrations of this art form by Leniavell Trivette.

North American/Appalachian

Do you know how people lived before electricity existed? Learn about butter churning and apple peeling with various antiques. Examples of how fabrics were made from scratch will also be shared by Betty Wells.

Be the Change project

Find your strengths to face challenges of change. Explore the qualities we can take with us in every situation through hands on and interactive activities by Cindy Pacileo.

Cricket game

Sari and bindi, come try on an authentic sari from India and choose a bindi (dot) to wear on your forehead.