World Beat Festival

Always the last weekend in June! June 25 & 26, 2011

Named by the Oregon Festival and Events Association:
2006 & 2007 Best Cultural Heritage Event
2008 Best Festival in Oregon
2009 Best Performing Arts Event
2010 Best Music Program Within a Festival
Celebrate and learn about the cultural richness of the world, in Oregon's capital city. Held in Salem's Riverfront Park on the banks of the Willamette River, the World Beat Festival is a two-day, non-stop program of international music, dance, song, traditional theater, ethnic foods, hands-on crafts, traditional customs and rituals, and folklore. World Beat celebrates the people and traditions of every continent.
Photo by KBlocksom
The weekend extravaganza includes three processions and more than 120 performances, demonstrations and workshops, plus a hundred cultural vendors and exhibitors. The 23-acre park is covered with nine performance areas and five World Villages, each with a children’s cultural tent with free activities. The Festival includes the World Beat Dragon Boat Racing on the Willamette River on Sunday. In 2010, 26,675 visitors attended.

The World Beat Festival is conducted by the Salem Multicultural Institute, a volunteer-driven, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with the mission of collaborating with public and private organizations to promote harmony and understanding through innovative, educational cultural programs and activities. We create places where ethnic communities can share their cultural heritages.

A $4 per person donation is suggested, and all activities inside the festival are free (except shopping and eating). A portion of the entry donation benefits children’s cultural programs in our community. In 2010, we raised over $5,000 in this way.
Photo by KBlocksom

Festival Hours:
World Beat Website
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
with Dances of fire and light beginning at Dusk
Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
with Dragon Boat Races beginning at 9 a.m.


gstatty said...

The world beat festival is a fun activity for a nice summer afternoon. The biggest reason I go is for the food though. Horn of Africa is always my favorite for their lukkul (lemon chicken) and the injera, or bideena bread (its called different things in different countries in Africa) as well as their delicious iced spiced chai and yummy green chutney. Also the Nepali momos are like gyoza on steroids, so much better imho (I wonder if its cuz I'm Indian, therefore a little biased?). Its great to see little kiddos performing dances that represent their heritage. Reminds me of India night and International night at OSU. Its definitely fun for all ages and appetites.

tracylee said...

I stopped by this afternoon specifically to see the Japanese Koto players. Fantastic! There was some tasty looking food, but I decided to run by La Hacienda on the way home and get some fresh tortillas and make a quesadilla at home. I know, no food fun at the fest for me :-D.

Oh, and there was plenty of parking at Pringle Parkade, and I checked (after the fact) and they don't enforce the meters on Saturday.

KandN said...

gstatty, Thanks for the great info!
If you take any photos, send them to us and we'll try and get them posted today. The contact tab is near the top of the page.

Chuck Bradley said...

gstatty. Thanks for the tip on the Garlic Lemon Chicken at The Horn of Africa booth. It was delicious! Their Portland restaurant has a pretty extensive and interesting menu. I can’t wait to try it.

I also tried a Combo Plate (Pancit Noodles, Chicken Adobo, Fried Lumpia and Steamed Rice) at the Greater Salem Filipino American Association booth. I ask the ladies if another Filipino restaurant is on the horizon for Salem. They know of none. The brief spark that was the Nippa Hut never had a chance to spread its wings.

This has nothing to do with food, but the Monmouth Taiko Drummers put on an impressive show. Very enjoyable.

gstatty said...

@KandN I had forgotten that I had a lunch to go to at a family friend's house in Corvallis, so, unfortunately I had to skip the World beat festival this year and have no pictures :(

@Chuck Bradley I'm glad you got a chance to get some food at the Horn of Africa booth. At Folk Life in Seattle every year their line is always the longest. When I first went quite a few years back I knew I had to get in line no matter how long the wait was. It took a half hour, but was well worth the wait. Also, lumpia is the best, one of my childhood friend's older sister taught me how to make it once.