Signature city event announces partners and new format for 2021.
COLUMBUS, Indiana—Thirty-seven years after its inception, Ethnic Expo, one of the most popular annual events in Columbus, announces a new format for 2021. This year Ethnic Expo will be a series of afternoon and evening events, rather than one large event spanning two days as it has in the past. In the spirit of Ethnic Expo’s original mission, the event series will continue to celebrate the heritage of the diverse groups of people who call Columbus home through authentic culinary, visual, and performing arts experiences.
Ethnic Expo 2021 will be a series of four events located on 4th Street on Saturdays:
June 19 – Juneteenth – in partnership with Columbus/Bartholomew NAACP
August 28 – Chinese Expo – in partnership with Columbus Chinese Association
September 11 – Ganesh Festival of India– in partnership with Columbus Ganesh Mandal
October 2 – Fiesta Latina – in partnership with Community Education Coalition and Su Casa
The format of Ethnic Expo was changed for 2021 for the following reasons:
- • At the time planning decisions had to be made there was concern about having 35K people crowded into one space, so the organizers decided to produce four smaller events in a format that could better accommodate physical distancing.
- • Sponsorships and other revenue sources for community events are limited this year, so Ethnic Expo is partnering with local groups who produce existing events in an effort to bring resources to the celebrations, to provide greater visibility to the events, and to produce cultural experiences through the guidance of partner organizations.
- • Another goal of the Ethnic Expo 2021 event series is to bring foot traffic to downtown restaurants and other businesses that have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. Restaurants will be open during the events and Fourth Street businesses will provide outdoor bar service.
Logistical and marketing support for the series is being coordinated by Visitors Center staff member Haley Anderson, in partnership with the City of Columbus. Each event in the series will include authentic cuisine, entertainment and art experiences curated by each of the four cultural partners.
Anderson said, “We’re excited about the opportunity to draw upon the expertise of our four partners to create cultural experiences for each of the events. The Visitors Center team will handle logistical items such as tents, stages, and restrooms, so our partners can concentrate on sharing the artistic aspects of their cultures with the community”.
The Ethnic Expo 2021 Event Series is presented by the City of Columbus with financial support from First Financial Bank.
Ethnic Expo History:
Ethnic Expo was founded in 1984 when a committee, spearheaded by Barbara Stewart, the wife of former Mayor Robert N. Stewart, developed the event as a means of celebrating the diverse cultures that had started calling Columbus home. The organizers envisioned this to be more than a parade or a street fair; they wanted the celebration to be a tool for understanding different cultures and customs. Thirty-seven years later, Ethnic Expo has become one of the most beloved annual events in Columbus.