39th Annual Ethnic Expo to feature African American Community

39th Annual Ethnic Expo to feature African American Community

Ethnic Expo is officially back for 2022 in downtown Columbus! Following the 2020 shutdown, last year the City of Columbus successfully partnered with the organizers of Juneteenth, Chinese Expo, Ganesh Festival of India, and Fiesta Latina and held four mini-gatherings on Fourth Street.

The African American Community was to be featured in 2020, so we are excited that they have again agreed to be the city’s Host Partner of the 39th Ethnic Expo. Presented by title sponsor First Financial Bank, the two-day festival, which fosters understanding and an appreciation of Columbus’ diverse population, will take place on October 7th and 8th along First Street behind Columbus City Hall.

Ethnic Expo is one of the largest and most beloved local festivals, bringing the unique cultures of Columbus together and attracting 30,000 – 35,000 individuals annually. It was founded in 1984 by a committee spearheaded by Barbara Stewart, then-Mayor Bob Stewart’s wife, to feature the city’s diverse ethnic heritage and to share different cultures and customs with residents and visitors.

After input received last year, the decision was made to return to the traditional Ethnic Expo format, while maintaining a fun, safe, and family-friendly atmosphere. With input and participation from local residents and ethnic organizations, Ethnic Expo will feature authentic food and a variety of entertainment on three separate stages as well as music and cultural programming in the Host Partner area that represents the traditions of the African American culture.

Ethnic Expo is organized by the City of Columbus and is made possible by generous donations from our title sponsor, First Financial Bank, and other sponsors including Coca-Cola and ERMCO Electric. The Expo is also made possible, in part, with support from the Indiana Arts Commission, the Columbus Area Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

“First Financial is proud to be a part of the Columbus community and is honored to once again be the title sponsor for the annual Ethnic Expo celebration.  We are excited to see this festival return to its First and Washington Street location with the two-day format showcasing our diverse culture and heritage,” said Jason Barbieri, District Leader for First Financial Bank.

“Please join the City of Columbus in celebrating our bountiful cultures, traditional cuisine and entertainment from around the world. We look forward to partnering with the African American Community and experiencing their heritage and traditions in October,” said Mayor Jim Lienhoop.

There will not be an Ethnic Expo parade this year; participants are encouraged to start their Saturday festivities with lunch and entertainment beginning at 11:00 and continuing throughout the day. With the addition of the 1821 Bicentennial Trail, First Street will look slightly different and some vendors may be relocated to other areas on Washington and First Streets.  For the most up-to-date information, please visit www.ethnicexpo.org or contact Thomas Voils, Communications and Events Coordinator, at (812) 376-2520.

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